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Trade stocks by day, and at night am writing a historical epic about the ancient Mayan civilization. "Maya: Spirits Of The Jaguar" is a sweeping saga set in the ancient and magical Mayan landscape where a wronged family struggles against prophecy, power, treachery and forbidden love,... More
  • Notes And More From Axion's Shareholders' Conference 170 comments
    Jul 21, 2011 1:02 AM

    At the outset of this Instablog, I should disclose that I'm no expert about Axion Power, nor the advanced lead acid batteries they are developing, and in no way am recommending this stock. Those that follow me, know I have certain belief in the potential of Axion's business model and also believe this microcap holds great promise, for those who are patient.

    Today exceeded my expectations in more ways than I could possibly write in this Instablog. I found the employees of Axion to be courteous, knowledgeable, accessible, from CEO Thomas Granville, to the entire board of directors, the sales staff, right on to the employees working the factory floors. Most certainly when investors come for these types of meetings, everyone has on their best face. But what I saw, heard and felt was an incredible sense of pride and enthusiasm about Axion's future.

    I took several pages of notes and will attempt to summarize my day as accurately as possible.

    Upon entering the hallowed doors of New Castle Country Club, I was immediately offered a handshake from Charles R. Trego, Axion's Chief Financial Officer. After introductions and at least sharing 10 minutes of his time, I moved into where the shareholders' meeting was to take place. 

    Milling about then and both before the plant tour and at the cocktail party to close things out, I met more investors, some whom came as far away as Texas, another seemingly powerhouse investor in from Vegas, and a Wells Fargo Advisor from Erie, PA.

    The meeting was called to order, and the motions were seconded and the wonderful  Power Point presentation began.

    Of course, attention in the room rose as Thomas Granville spoke about BMW, Norfolk Southern, the potential of grid applications for the 40 foot long Power Cube, and the "scalable" 10 foot long Mini Cube, which can be used as storage power for small businesses and residential communities, each of which can be used in conjunction with solar or wind applications. He also spoke of the potential Department of Energy grant that is in combination with a university, an institution, and OEMs from Detroit.

    This is the second time I have heard Thomas speak Detroit OEMs in the plural. The first was during last quarter's conference call. 

    Here are some other bulleted points from the morning meeting at New Castle Country Club:

    --The PbC battery has now achieved and exceeded 100,000 charging cycles. This is particularly good news for Norfolk Southern. For over a year, Norfolk Southern has been testing Axion's batteries. This is after Norfolk eliminated lithium batteries, supercapictors, flywheels, and conventional lead acid batteries from being in play for their "yard switchers" and "over the road" locomotives. The testing results are showing that diesel consumption is lowered significantly, and carbon dioxide emissions, which the EPA is concerned about, are also reduced significantly. As the price of diesel fuel continues to rise over the coming years, further savings will be incurred. At current prices, the 640 battery Power Cube is estimated to have a return on investment of 2.5 years.

    Granville expects Norfolk's first technology breakout later this year.  

    More to come about Norfolk when I shift over to visiting the two plants.

    --When comparing Axion's PbC technology to lithium, the ancillary costs of a lithium battery costs more than the battery itself. In other words, when one buys a HEV or plug-in automobile, there is not only the expensive battery, but also a temperature controlled casing that surrounds the battery, and also necessary additional wiring and software that the purchasing customer must also buy. Often, these additonal costs are not mentioned when a "green" customer is buying said vehicle. Further, testings have shown that lithium batteries do not work well in cold temperatures. If one were to buy a lithium battery assisted car, and the battery overheated, Granville called that car, a "Car-B-Que." Heat management with lithium batteries is a very big and costly issue. A lithium fire is very hard to extinguish.

    --In Europe, by 2016, all cars and mini-trucks will have stop start technology. The fines to those not complying will be costly. There are various levels of guideline fines per gram level exceeded of CO2 emissions per kilometer that can be read about in Axion's latest quarterly report. But, for example, if BMW does not comply with the stiff European standards, they could potentially be fined as much as $230 per car. This applies fleetwide, even if some cars do comply. Therefore, if BMW manufactures 1,000,000 vehicles, they will be fined $235,000,000, if they choose to ignore this decree. This is a stair step law, that so much has to improve each succeeding model year, beginning in 2012, and completing, once again, by 2016. 

    --The expected fuel savings using PbC stop start technology, depending on a drive in the countryside, to city driving, is 5 to 15%.

    --A two battery system will eventually be in all European and American produced cars. One is for what is called "Hotel" time, which is when the engine is shut down, and the PbC battery keeps the radio, heater, air conditioner, all the electronics of the car functioning. The other battery is for powering up the engine. In all honesty, it's been a long day, it's late, and I may have this butt-backwards. But two batteries will be in all cars, soon.

    --In the works for further savings is what is called, "Sailing Time." This is when the car is coasting to a stop, and at 6 miles per hour, the engine shuts down as the vehicle drifts to a stop. Oddly, most cars will include a defeat button, which allows the driver to always have the engine on, defeating the whole purpose of stop start technology. The simple act of braking is what re-charges the battery. Same goes with Locomotives. The Sailing Time will further up petrol savings and the return on investment.

    --99.2% of Axion's PbC battery is recyclable. Granville figures a used up Axion battery is worth about 32 cents per pound. I believe I read somewhere that 99% of all lead acid batteries are recycled in the US. But lithium batteries cost 52 cents per pound to dispose of! Lithium batteries are not recyclable, and are very dangerous to the environment if not properly disposed.

    --I believe the vote that took place today about adding common shares up to 200,000,000 will pass. Granville said Axion does not currently need money. He does not expect the offering to occur within the next two months. The ability to have the shelf offering, which this time will be public rather than private, will expire on March 15, 2012. Granville stated that if the offering does occur, if Axion needs more money, it will be after a, "Price spike," he said, getting the valuation over $75,000,000. That's potentially a tradeable barometer, for those whom want to trade rather than hold this stock.   

    After the Power Point presentation concluded, the representative from Quercus Trust, who have been liquidating shares, stood and stated categorically that Quercus Trust strongly believes in the Axion story. He spoke of how from a venture capital firm's mindset, the world as we know it did not end on September 11, 2001, but did in fact end post-Lehman in 2008. Quercus Trust has been "reallocating" their $500M in original investment in green teck concepts since. This included not only Axion Power, but also "30 to 40" other ventures as well. 

    After a barrage of questions concluded from not only investors, but also the directors, I immediately stood and approached David Anthony, whom only reports to Quercus' CEO, David Gelbaum, and questioned him about how much more liquidation Quercus was considering. He would not state how much. My take away, and this is what I said to him, is that I was hearing from him that Quercus was not going to liquidate all of their shares. Again, he would not commit, but he spoke of how Quercus figures of their 30 to 40 investments, 2 to 3 will return 10X plus, and 4 to 6 will return 2X to 5X. The rest will be duds. The time frame was not mentioned. He added that at anytime portfolio valuations can change, forcing Quercus to reevaluate and reallocate. My conviction in listening closely to David is that Quercus will not liquidate all of their remaining shares; perhaps as little as 10 percent more. Across the board Quercus is liquidating and reallocating. 

    David Anthony gave me his business card and said I could call him anytime.

    Onward I went to tour the plants. At the Clover Lane facility, we were divided up into small groups. I quickly tailed into the group led by the Plant Manager, Joe Cole. The first place we were taken to was the Power Cube, mounted atop an 18 wheeler flatbed, for ease of transport. Thankfully on this scalding day, the inside of the Power Cube was air conditioned.  

    To my surprise, this is where I learned Axion is working on an even better performing next generation battery, called the 30HT. This is the battery that will be used for grid-base applications, and quite possibly also used by Norfolk. It's the same footprint as the current PbC battery, but it's about 2 inches taller, and will have a higher energy density. Basically, the 40 foot long, half megawatt Power Cube will be reduced to a bank of batteries 20 feet long. I failed to ask if the 640 batteries in the current Power Cube will also be cut in half to 320.

    Software for the current and future Power Cube batteries are electronically linked, such that if one battery becomes weaker than the others, the whole "section" or "bank" of batteries will either work to redistribute and charge to the weaker battery, or that section will be turned off. This software is still being tweaked. What's neat is Axion will have the capability to monitor the Power Cube remotely, and will call, say to a cattle farmer in Colorado, to inform the owner that he needs to switch off that section so that it can be repaired, before the weak battery stresses out the other batteries in that group. I believe this is also very important to Norfolk. 

    It was a wonderful experience to tour the flooded lead acid plant, seeing A to Z the manufacturing process. How precious for Axion to have stumbled onto leasing this facility, because "lead" has such a bad rap that the NIMBY effect applies nationwide. Asking about the long term certainty of the lease, I learned that it's pretty solid years into the future, because, for example, a bakery would never be allowed to sit where lead acid batteries were made in this 75,000 square foot facility.   

    --Axion hired 20 new employees last year, and ten more this year.

    --Axion still has some problems with their R&D. The biggest problem is the current extruding capacity of the carbon sheets that are inserted inside the batteries. But they are working on this and expect a remedy soon.

    --Outside one plant stands gigantic solar trees. I'm assuming they are akin to what Envision Solar has and is using Axion technology to store energy to light up the parking lot at night. But immediately, upon seeing this, an Axion employee told me there's a slight problem with this idea in the northern climes. Snow comes down. You're parked to the side of one of the trees, and as it rotates to follow the sun, you may be the unlucky one under which your car is buried...maybe even encased in ice as melting snow re-freezes, I added. We chuckled. Probably not going to see this idea used in the snow belts. But in the deep south, and areas like San Diego, this idea works. 

    After the Clover Lane tour, we all traveled about a mile to the other plant, where the PbC battery was being made. No cameras or cell phones allowed. Security was tight. We were able to watch the new robotic line in action. Very impressive. Axion expects to add as many as 11 more lines, which offer greater precision and end product certainty than if made by machine assisted hand. There is also a every once in a while an "electrostatic sticking" issue, of which I'm not sure how this will be resolved. 

    Further, this is where the real juice is with Axion, in that they prefer to make on site the PbC electrode, and then send them out world wide to other battery makers, and license those battery manufacturers to use the PbC technology.

    So now we get into a little bit of chemistry as to why Axion PbC technology is leaps ahead of other battery manufacturers to the point that giants such as Johnson Controls and Exide have asked Axion to evaluate their batteries! It all has to do with the crystal formation inside other kinds of advanced lead acid batteries, and this amazing little positive electrode is what sets Axion apart from other industry leaders. 

    Please excuse my naive-ness, but I'll give this a shot, in layman's terms.

    The guts of the battery in a common lead acid battery, or other advanced lead acid concepts, soon begin to degrade because of crystal formation, which greatly affects the batteries ability to not only discharge, but take on a charge. Axion has come up with a "secret sauce" that basically eliminates this problem, as the 100,000 cycles has proven.

    What's amazing is that the negative cathode also quickly degrades. And yet, and this is important, no battery ever before made has there been a study on when the positive annode begins to degrade, because the negative cathode always ruins the battery first. Axion is now beginning testing of when the PbC annode begins to degrade. An uncharted study. All quite above my head, but that fact I found stunning.

    In final, I should add that when I introduced myself to Thomas Granville before the Power Point presentation, I found him incredibly approachable. We spoke for a few minutes and he was all smiles when I mentioned that I was buds with Axion's previous CEO, John Petersen, through Seeking Alpha. That a while back John decided to stay in Philadelphia rather than in New York City, where he was giving a deposition, so that we could share precious time together, driving aimlessly around Philadelphia, and then a fantastic cheesesteak at the airport Marriott. At the cocktail party I also met many more fine folks from Axion, as well as a few other seemingly major investors. 

    As I decided it was time to leave, I went around shaking hands in gratitude. As I was talking with The Chief Operating Officer, I felt someone approaching me from the side. I turned and it was Thomas Granville, who had apparently overheard that I was departing. He wished me safe trip back to Philadelphia, and to say hello to John Petersen.

    A gracious man he is. 

    I apologize in advance if there are any inaccuracies to the above text. All this is way over my head. I'm not a battery geek, only an investor in what I truly believe is a home run winner as we proceed in time. 

    I should note that I am in staying in Pittsburgh tonight, and will be on the road back to Philadelphia tomorrow. So don't be anguished if I'm not available to answer any follow up questions until Friday! 

    Thank you for taking the time to read about my day at the Axion shareholders' meeting. I dearly hope this aids in your investing decisions.  


           

     

        

    Disclosure: I am long AXPW.

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Comments (170)
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  • bazooooka
    , contributor
    Comments (3684) | Send Message
     
    Great write up Maya; it's consistent with what other have said about today's meeting. I especially liked your insights on the Quercus selling.

     

    For more info see: messages.finance.yahoo...

     

    This is an easy triple and maybe exponentially more once orders start coming in soon (2012 is the year - those at the meeting are predicting =).
    21 Jul 2011, 02:35 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    This is a great summary. I'm sorry I couldn't make the pilgrimage myself. It sounds like things are progressing on all fronts.

     

    I'm delighted to hear that David Anthony spoke about why Quercus was selling. Their transaction was the last project I did as Axion's counsel. They invested $18 million to buy 8.5 million shares of common and 10 million warrants that were originally exercisable at $2.60 but got reset to $0.75 after the crash. When you run the numbers Quercus paid $2.10 for the shares they're selling right now. They're not selling because they want to, they're selling because they have to keep as many of their portfolio companies going as they can. That means they have to sacrifice the stronger to protect the weaker. While I hate to see Quercus in this position, they've been a poster child for responsible selling and rarely account for more than 10% of daily volume.

     

    The "secret sauce" you were discussing is the carbon electrode assembly itself. The crystals you mentioned are lead-sulfate and they form on the negative electrodes of all lead-acid batteries except the PbC. The reason they don't form in the PbC is that it doesn't use any lead on the negative plates. Sulfation has always been the principal failure mechanism in lead-acid. So if you eliminate sulfation as a problem the batteries have cycle-lives that compare favorably with the best lithium-ion batteries. That's why the PbC can hold up to 100,000 shallow cycles and at least a couple thousand cycles at 100% depth of discharge.

     

    FWIW, Jolie Kahn is wearing my old hat as legal counsel.
    21 Jul 2011, 02:40 AM Reply Like
  • Futurist
    , contributor
    Comments (2109) | Send Message
     
    Mayascribe,
    Thanks for the tour. As a long term holder of this stock I am glad to have another independent opinion of the management team. Obviously they are juggling many balls at the same time right now. So far it does not appear that any of them are hitting the ground. Your description of the plant, the people, and the battery mirror what John has told us for several years.
    Sorry I couldn't make the meeting. Maybe we can meet next year.
    21 Jul 2011, 06:50 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4073) | Send Message
     
    I recommend that everyone presses the button at the top that says "recommend." This is great. Thank you Maya.
    21 Jul 2011, 06:50 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19441) | Send Message
     
    Ah, Maya! You did a great job.

     

    Now I've got to plan a trip sometime.

     

    I wanted to highlight an important factoid you posted.

     

    "At current prices, the 640 battery Power Cube is estimated to have a return on investment of 2.5 years"

     

    This is a *MAJOR* point. Anytime you get ROI this quickly, you have a home run. Moreover, you have pricing power as normal acceptable ROI times are quite a bit longer - ~ 5 years? I guess it depends on the industry and application though.

     

    Barring any major glitches, when Norfolk Southern decides to implement system-wide, it will be done quickly due to the rapid amortization.

     

    Further, this "first mover" will quickly cause adoption by competitors because if they don't quickly find a similar improvement they will be competitively disabled.

     

    One other point I think is significant - the examination of the anode sulfation issue. If this is the first time that there has been an environment in which the details of that process might be closely examined and exposed, there may be another "quantum leap" coming down the pike. Doping solutions, mechanical construction, temperatures and (dis)charging rate changes may all combine to produce another "disruptive technology" - lifetime batteries.

     

    Then comes miniaturization!

     

    Thanks for taking the time, above and beyond the normal, for both the visit and the report. 'Course, knowing you, it was a lot of fun and you would've paid to do it! ;-))

     

    HardToLove
    21 Jul 2011, 06:58 AM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » HTL: Actually, miniaturization is already in process, with the new HT30 battery. Though it stands about two inches taller, and has about 30 to 40% more capability than the PbC, due to higher density, it requires the exact same footprint.

     

    This newer battery basically will take the next half megawatt Power Cube from being 40 feet long, down to 20 feet long. Or, soon a tractor trailer can pull in a full megawatt of power, rather than a half megawatt as is the case right now.

     

    I can't say this for sure, but the "Norfolk delay" may be due to this newer and more powerful battery.

     

    It's pretty amazing that Axion is the first battery maker on the planet to begin studying the degradation of the positive anode. That's after 7.5 to 8.5 years of simulated usage. A pretty impressive fact.
    24 Jul 2011, 12:03 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    The big reason that they're working on the positive electrode is the utility industry which is accustomed to thinking in terms of 40 year assets and recoils at cycle lives of less than 10 years. Other users are far easier to please.
    24 Jul 2011, 01:17 AM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2728) | Send Message
     
    Just to clarify something: my understanding is that the major problem with the conventional lead acid cell positive electrode is not sulfation (crystals forming) but corrosion. That is, the damage done to the pasted positive electrode by sulfuric acid and cycling causes it to "come apart" over time. Pieces literally fall off in a flooded style battery.

     

    Apparently the PbC chemistry has a smaller change in sulfuric acid concentration between charged and discharged. That reduces the positive plate corrosion damage to some extent. Axion wants to better understand that damage mechanism so they can better predict, and extend, the ultimate life of a PbC battery.

     

    John, correct me if I misunderstood about the positive electrode problems.
    24 Jul 2011, 02:19 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Your understanding of the problem ties to mine and it was always fascinating to listen to the staff talking about electrode cycle-life issues because nobody's ever had to pay a lot of attention to the positive electrode side since sulfation kills the negative first.

     

    When it became clear that the PbC completely eliminated sulfation as a failure mechanism, then the attention naturally shifted to the positive. That work was starting in earnest about the time I left so I really can't speak to the progress that's been made over the last few years. Current claims of 2,000 cycles at 100% DOD and 100,000 shallow cycles tell me that there's been a good deal of progress because those numbers are an order of magnitude better than any conventional lead-acid battery on the market.
    24 Jul 2011, 03:48 AM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10491) | Send Message
     
    We expect a battery life of seven to ten years before cell failure in our large UPS. We begin cell testing at five on crucial installations. Battery life is frequently less in small systems or those in high heat environments. We currently use lead acid gel cells.
    26 Jul 2011, 05:05 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6282) | Send Message
     
    Thank you Maya! A shelf offering of two hundred million shares most likely to be made after a significant pop -

     

    They had about 85M outstanding shares in their May 10 Q. So they are setting up to more then double the number of outstanding shares.

     

    I would love to see an explanation as to why they need such a massive cash infusion resulting from the sale of 200M shares.
    21 Jul 2011, 09:00 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    The shelf offering is sized at $18 to $28 million. The stockholder vote yesterday increased the authorized capitalization from 125 to 200 million shares. There are already about 100 million shares out or reserved for issuance.
    21 Jul 2011, 09:05 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6282) | Send Message
     
    Ahhh Thank you John.
    21 Jul 2011, 09:15 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    I almost threw up when I saw you thought 200 million shares would be an offering size.
    21 Jul 2011, 09:36 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6282) | Send Message
     
    Somehow I missed Maya's "up to" part of his writeup. That coupled with my investment history (dilution) with AXPW set me off... I think they have a wonderful product with a lot of potential in different areas. I love the Norfolk Southern application.
    21 Jul 2011, 09:47 AM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10491) | Send Message
     
    Maya: Greetings. Thanks for the awesome INSTA. Your visit and sitrep are a very welcome development. Thanks again.
    21 Jul 2011, 10:13 AM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10491) | Send Message
     
    John, Petersen: Greetings. I posted some of this on your rollercoaster INSTA but forgot to include the link. Silly me!
    21 Jul 2011, 10:15 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6282) | Send Message
     
    Hi John - Where did you get that shelf offering size of 18 to 28M from?
    24 Jul 2011, 04:54 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19441) | Send Message
     
    Rat - a couple of different places. The most official is this SEC filing.

     

    b2i.api.edgar-online.c...

     

    I can't locate the other source right now, but there's 2 tranches: $18M available and the other $10 upon board approval. Be aware it's a *mixed* shelf authorization, so it's not all necessarily new shares. Could be debt, warrants or shares or any combination.

     

    If you need it, I'll locate the other one.

     

    HardToLove
    24 Jul 2011, 06:27 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    www.sec.gov/Archives/e...
    24 Jul 2011, 11:40 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Shelf registrations are almost always filed in a mixed shelf format to put a company in a position to respond to market conditions at the time of the take-down offering. When a deal happens, I'd be willing to give pretty long odds that it will be straight common stock, rather than preferred stock or debt.
    24 Jul 2011, 11:43 PM Reply Like
  • bazooooka
    , contributor
    Comments (3684) | Send Message
     
    Hmm, that share count looks tiny now compared to what ultimately happened.
    22 Jun 2015, 11:39 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13581) | Send Message
     
    Congrats, Maya. This is top quality stuff.
    21 Jul 2011, 10:36 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Maybe he should submit it for publication in the main pages.
    21 Jul 2011, 10:42 AM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10491) | Send Message
     
    John, Petersen: Greetings. I think that is a splendid idea.
    21 Jul 2011, 11:02 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19441) | Send Message
     
    Ditto! Gussy it up a teeny bit with some one-liners about the well-known (to us'ns) facts about the co. and he's got a "must read" for folks with an interest in green or energy or railroads or auto or ...

     

    HardToLove
    21 Jul 2011, 11:07 AM Reply Like
  • Lafferty
    , contributor
    Comments (253) | Send Message
     
    Much appreciated, Maya - thanks.
    21 Jul 2011, 11:06 AM Reply Like
  • LabTech
    , contributor
    Comments (1778) | Send Message
     
    Maya,
    Thank you for all the information in your post. It has been reported by others who attended the meeting and the tour that there seems to be something of a bottleneck in the Gen2 line for what one would assume is the black, carbon cathode for the PbC by the description of the writer. Did you hear any information on this and whether or not they thought this was a short term or long term problem? Also, there seemed to be a question as to the production speed of the Gen2 line and how many electrodes could be produced per shift vs per day? Any clarifications you can give would be appreciated.

     

    Thanks again.
    21 Jul 2011, 11:18 AM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Apologies about the confusion regarding this Instablog.

     

    Following the suggestion of my peers, I submitted for publishing and was turned down because the stock is priced under $1.00 per share.

     

    Fortunately, I was able to retrieve the Instablog, which one Seeking Alpha member was told it was withdrawn for editing reasons, which is not true. I did do some editing while in Instablog format. No editing was done after submission, and I only just now figured out how to retrieve and repost the Insta.

     

    Oddly, according to the "Author Board," the submission is still pending, even though I did recieve the above reply (which I had to figure out how to use). This fact is what threw me off, and delayed my retrieving this Instablog.

     

    I greatly appreciate the positive comments! Thank you!
    23 Jul 2011, 11:14 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » LabTech: Yes, I did here there was some "congestion" at the end of the Gen2 line. Axion is working on this issue. I have no idea of the time frame as to when things will be up and running smoothly.

     

    There was also an issue of the robots "knowing" when they are going to bump into each other, or better, simultaneously occupy the same space as they twist and turn. What I was impressed with is that this is a technological innovation in process that is unique to any battery company in the world.
    23 Jul 2011, 11:23 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6282) | Send Message
     
    I would love to see that factory... I think advanced robotic manufacturing is the answer to restarting the US's manufacturing sector.

     

    I also don't understand why this excellent insta could not be an article. It talks about deals with BMW, and Norfolk Southern and the big market for stop and start technology that is coming.
    23 Jul 2011, 11:44 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » FPA: I met a fine young chap from Carnegie Mellon at the conference. He told me the CMU Robotics Lab was incredible.
    23 Jul 2011, 11:52 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19441) | Send Message
     
    The robots will get worked out. I've seen robots at work in the Miller(?) brewing plant in Eden N.C. running all over the place, pausing at intersections both saying "After you sir/ma'am" and after a brief negotiation one starts up and then the other after the intersection is clear.

     

    It's fun to watch.

     

    HardToLove
    24 Jul 2011, 01:11 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » FPA: Have you seen the sci-fi movie titled "Transfomers?" Incredible!
    25 Jul 2011, 12:27 AM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » This link takes you to the results of the Axion shareholders vote:

     

    biz.yahoo.com/e/110722...

     

    I find it amazing that shareholders in a landslide approved the shelf offering. To me, this means that shareholders are willing to take on even another potential hit to share price so that Axion has resources and means to be properly capitalized for major expansion.

     

    This kind of "like thinking" by shareholders means that they are in for the long haul, and not worried about price swings and volatility as what recently occured.

     

    Count me as one of them.

     

    Sooner or later, the sellers will have sold, and the stock will begin climbing, likely fast.
    24 Jul 2011, 12:35 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6282) | Send Message
     
    It would be interesting to look at that vote as a function of number of owners as opposed to number of shares voted.
    24 Jul 2011, 01:10 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Even with perfect information there really isn't any way to know for sure how many stockholders voted for or against a particular ballot item. The reason is simple. From a corporate law perspective the only people who have the right to vote, or for that matter even attend a stockholders meeting, are the ones with paper stock certificates registered in their names. The end result is an odd situation where a company like Axion can have 439 holders of record but thousands of beneficial owners who hold stock indirectly through brokerage accounts.

     

    If we assume, for example, that you had 5,000 shares in a Merrill Lynch account and wanted to attend the stockholders meeting and vote your shares in person, you'd need to bring a written proxy from Merrill Lynch that authorized you to vote those shares because without the proxy, the company would have no way of knowing whether you were a shareholder.

     

    Since all shares in all accounts held at brokerage firms are owned of record by CEDE & Co., votes by street name stockholders are tabulated by an independent third party service and then sent to the company as a consolidated report that says CEDE & Co. votes XX shares in favor of a proposal, YY shares against the proposal and abstains from voting ZZ shares.

     

    The behind the scenes mechanics of the system that keeps track of who owns publicly traded securities are unbelievably complex and most companies don't have the foggiest idea of who their public stockholders are. Instead they know that XX million shares of their stock are held of record by CEDE & Co. and a that single entry in their corporate records represents several thousand to several hundred thousand beneficial owners through brokerage accounts.

     

    It's a fascinating system for a few geeky guys like me who love digging into the minutiae, but the only thing that matters from the standpoint of an investor is that the system works and works well.
    24 Jul 2011, 04:21 AM Reply Like
  • amishelvis
    , contributor
    Comments (143) | Send Message
     
    Hi Maya, Great piece of writing. We met in the last factory tour. I think you hit on all the major points , well done. One tidbit, the 2.5 year payback ..true for Norfolk Southern,, is that also the case for the power cubes? I didnt catch any numbers there.
    Those two technologies/ layouts are very similar, I forgot to ask, how a single battery,, especially the larger, newer ones can be replaced if needed ,,,looks like back breaker.
    Best to you, Matt
    24 Jul 2011, 03:24 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » amishelvis: Thanks. I recall sharing a nice chat! I would imagine that the ROI for the Power Cube would be different for each application.

     

    This is a complete guess, that the HT30 and the PbC are not interchangable when used in banks of batteries because the densities are different. Likely different also are the rates of discharge and charging.
    24 Jul 2011, 05:29 PM Reply Like
  • steeleydock
    , contributor
    Comments (33) | Send Message
     
    Great article, Maya.
    The congestion in the Gen2 line was in the last robotic step and the engineers seemed confident. Of note, Axion owns all the robots and the software in the line.
    Steeleydock
    24 Jul 2011, 03:24 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » steelydock: Are you sure about that? I understood that it was not just the final robot, but several toward the end of the line. Admittedly, I was talking with almishelvis and a gentleman from Erie, PA, during some of the visit to the robotic line.
    24 Jul 2011, 05:32 PM Reply Like
  • steeleydock
    , contributor
    Comments (33) | Send Message
     
    Pretty sure the last segment--two robots--were working 30% and congested the line but I must admit your notes were far superior to mine.
    S
    27 Jul 2011, 03:19 PM Reply Like
  • bangwhiz
    , contributor
    Comments (2240) | Send Message
     
    Thanks for your report Maya. Greatly appreciated. Your mentioned JCI as testing the PbC in this comment: "Axion PbC technology is leaps ahead of other battery manufacturers to the point that giants such as Johnson Controls and Exide have asked Axion to evaluate their batteries!" I've never heard JCI was testing the PbC. Could you confirm this statement as true and name a source?

     

    I read that electrostatic issues were causing problems. The chip and many other computer related technologies have to prevent electrostatic problems during their manufacturing and assembly process. In a small manufacturing company I ran we bought a large ionizer that kept our work benches static free. It was about a four foot long tube - roughly a thousand bucks - plus the electronic controls needed to adjust operation. I would believe they will find a solution to this issue off the shelf somewhere.

     

    All in all I am highly confident Axion will be a winner. Trying to construct a timetable for that success is an exercise in frustration. I've decided to just be patient until Axion finally hits the jackpot. Nothing I've heard so far makes me believe it won't happen by 2013.

     

    Thanks again for your report!
    24 Jul 2011, 10:00 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » bangwhiz: For a long time now I have been "ghost reading" your comments in JP's articles. They are always excellent.

     

    I believe you may have read what I wrote wrongly. JCI, Exide, and also, I did not before mention, East Penn, all retained Axion as an advisor to evaluate their batteries, not the other way around.

     

    In other words, for instance, JCI is not evaluating Axion. It's the other way around. JCI contracted Axion to evaluate JCI batteries. Same with the others. But I would wager JCI is covertly evaluating Axion.

     

    Perhaps I did not elucidate this fact enough in the above Insta. Granville stated that JCI, Exide, and East Penn all approached Axion so that Axion could evaluate, and that means get paid for this evaluation, about why these big boyz batteries do not stack up against what Axion is so close to bringing to market.

     

    To me, that's an incredible fact. As is your ionizer idea.

     

    Great idea about the inonizer. Maybe Axion can hook up that blue thingy that dentists use to kill dental germs! Who knows, a robot with a "blue gun" may be how the electrostatic issue is solved! Just kidding, of course.
    25 Jul 2011, 12:06 AM Reply Like
  • D. McHattie
    , contributor
    Comments (1844) | Send Message
     
    Not sure if I'm reading too much between the lines here.

     

    Is it a leap to guess that JCI, Exide and East Penn are having their batteries 'evaluated' for a specific reason?

     

    That reason: to determine the ease of incorporation of Axion's activated carbon negative electrodes into their (JCI, Exide, East Penn) AGM batteries.

     

    Why else would established companies with battalions of experienced engineers ask an upstart like Axion to 'evaluate' their batteries?
    29 Jul 2011, 06:17 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » D. McHattie: It's my understanding that JCI, Exide and East Penn have not conquered the crystalization in their batteries that occur over time, as well as Axion has. Granville told each of them as much when they approached Axion.

     

    Basically, Granville told them up front, but each company insisted Axion do a study. Granville took their money, did the study, and then he told each company the "findings" were exactly what he told each of them up front.

     

    It was a fun little story to hear. The extrapolations from this little story are equally fun to consider.
    29 Jul 2011, 06:36 PM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2728) | Send Message
     
    Maya et al: There has to be some sort of political reason for the "test our batteries" episode. They (JCI, Exide, East Penn) didn't spend the money for the information. They already knew the answer. So why the exercise?

     

    My guess is some form of CYA tactic by the head of engineering and/or the CEO. Possibly for protection from their respective BODs (why do our batteries fail on cycling tests and theirs don't? Are our engineers stupid? Are you?).

     

    Senior management response would be something like " lead electrodes form lead sulfate crystals after shallow cycling. That's in the literature and is also our own observation. We had our cells tested by an independent expert and the results were the same. If we want to improve the performance of our product we need to either develop a new negative electrode that doesn't sulfate or buy the drop-in electrodes from Axion." Then a multiyear, expensive, too-late-to-matter plan for the new electrode research effort is presented to the Board. They are NOT pleased :-)

     

    Does that make sense? Possibly it's to cover a "done deal" that no one really likes.
    29 Jul 2011, 07:09 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » siliconhillbilly: That's certainly a fine theory.

     

    To me, it sounded as if these three battery makers were beligerent yet confused bulls in a china shoppe, in "forcing" Axion to test their batteries for lead sulfate crystalization. That all three went ahead and contracted Axion for testing, and after being told the results, of which Granville told them up front what the testings would reveal, shows to me that they are now sitting around their boardroom mission table, losing hair by the lock, trying to figure how a pipsqueak outfit like Axion is outperforming their mission; to create the best stop/start battery.

     

    29 Jul 2011, 08:15 PM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2728) | Send Message
     
    >Maya

     

    Could be. Maybe I give them too much credit ;-)
    29 Jul 2011, 09:31 PM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2728) | Send Message
     
    These comments are from John Petersen's Article on Stop-Start battery expansion plans by Johnson Controls Inc.
    published 2011 07 03 in SA

     

    Mayascribe told me to publish this info as comments to his instablog. Honest! Let me know about anything that seems screwy and I'll take a look.

     

    John Peterson, commenting on Stop-Start systems using a supercapacitor.

     

    The Continental Maxwell system uses a module with two 1200 Farad supercapacitors to augment the battery. Maxwell apparently sells the supercapacitor module to Continental for about $50.

     

    As you'll recall the engine off load profile is 50 amps for 60 seconds followed by a 300 amp starter load for 1 second.

     

    It's my understanding that the supercapacitors are a big help with the starter load but don't do anything to improve charge acceptance in the AGM battery part of the system.

     

    I know I'd appreciate an EEs views and think other readers would benefit too.

     

    Siliconhillbilly replies:

     

    John, something seems wrong with the "two, 1200F caps" for $50. The price isn't compatible with the information given on the Maxwell Truck Starting supercap module. Is each supercap rated at 16V? Are the two in series? Parallel? I need more information.

     

    Otherwise, I agree with you that a moderately priced supercap can't be of much use for the "off-engine" housekeeping load. The supercap just doesn't store enough energy at 13V to do more than start the engine. Therefore I don't see how it can be effective except at the margins. It should guarantee that the engine would restart, at least, thereby preventing driver wrath ;-)

     

    Possibly the plan is to let the off-engine loads drain the battery to some voltage and then disconnect all but safety required loads. And maybe the radio. The driver wouldn't be happy in Houston in the summer, but in Europe it might be acceptable to shut off the the AC unit. I don't know how far this "minimize off-engine loads" philosophy could be stretched.

     

    I am beginning to get the feeling that some of these S-S designs are as much window dressing as they are engineering. As in, "We are doing the best that we can with the components available. Give us more time and we will work out the bugs". That is a political solution, not an engineering one.

     

    BMW appears to be seeking a realistic S-S design solution. That would explain their high interest in the PbC.

     

    Existing AGM batteries just can't handle the high charge-discharge cycling numbers, based on the published test data you have referenced. This is a mystery.
    3 Jul, 01:09 AM

     

    John Petersen

     

    The two supercapacitors are in series.

     

    maxwell.maples.com/blo...

     

    The specifications for the 1200 series cells are 2.7 Volts and 1,200 Farads with a stored energy of 1.22 wh each.

     

    maxwell.com/produc...

     

    My lawyer's eye view is that the supercapacitors can prevent a voltage sag when the starter kicks in, but not much else. Your EEs perspective could be far more informative and reliable.

     

    In the BMW presentation at ELBC, they made it clear that the restart had to be transparent to the driver and the last thing they could tolerate in a $40,000 vehicle was "black screens." As near as I can tell the supercapacitor systems will help avoid those problems but they won't do a thing about dynamic charge acceptance in the AGM battery and overall stop-start system efficiency.
    3 Jul, 01:34 AM

     

    Siliconhillbilly

     

    Re: two supercapacitors in series.

     

    2.7V max across each S-cap implies a maximum voltage of 5.4V across the two serised S-caps. A safe design number might be 5V.

     

    The two caps in series will store: 600F x 5V x 5V x 1/2 = 2Wh
    That is with the S-caps discharged to zero volts. That won't work in a real device, but this is a BOE calculation so we leave it at 2Wh.

     

    Off engine energy requirement is 50A at 12V for 60 seconds = 10Wh

     

    Since they can supply only 20% of the needed energy, I don't see that the caps serve as a useful addition. But they could, I suppose, start the engine if the starter produced sufficient torque at 5V. Maybe.

     

    I would need to understand the design concept better to see if it makes any sense. But this quick energy balance analysis isn't encouraging.

     

    03 July, 3:18AM

     

    Renzo

     

    I spent some time listening to the JCI Power Systems Analyst Day web-cast and reviewing the presentation.

     

    Craig Rigby (VP Global Products, slides 70-81) made their focus on AGM quite plain and seemed rather dismissive of PbC. From what I have learned here on SA, the presentation seemed a little slanted towards the AGM batteries they already make and the lithium batteries they are building a plant to make.

     

    Slide 79 compares different lead acid formats, PbC, ultracapacitors and lithium in terms of cycle life, charge acceptance, energy and cost.

     

    Cycle Life: The slide specifically avoids comparing the cycle life of PbC to AGM-as though that data is not available. (Mr Rigby doesn't even comment on the omission). Lithium is rated as the best.

     

    Charge Acceptance: PbC is shown to be slightly better than AGM, but not as good as lithium.

     

    Energy: PbC is given a 1/4 rating, AGM 3/4 and Lithium 4/4. Mr. Rigby quotes a figure of 70 amp-hours for AGM and 40 amp-hours for PbC and implies, but doesn't specifically state that PbC is therefore not adequate for the purpose.

     

    System Cost: AGM rated 3/4, PbC 2/4, lithium 0/4.

     

    There were a couple of interesting points made on lithium cost. Slide 117 looks at hybrid (x-EV, as they put it) battery packs. The current total cost is $2500, of which $1500 is cell costs (the rest control component costs). They forecast overall costs dropping to $900 by 2025 ($500 for cells, $400 additional for components). In the Q&A session the speaker specifically stated they do NOT expect any significant cost savings from advances in the chemistry, just through economies of scale.

     

    Overall, JCI sees AGM as the ideal start-stop solution, with lithium felt to have some future potential as costs come down.

     

    It seems that JCI is downplaying PbC simply because it's NOT their technology yet doesn't see a near-term role in start-stop for lithium, even though it IS their technology. 1 Jul, 12:10 AM

     

    John Petersen

     

    With the relative dearth of detailed publicly available information it doesn't surprise me a bit that JCI would leave its comparisons a bit sketchy. All Axion is making today are pre-commercial prototypes and I's expect that all of the current devices are accompanied by some fairly stringent non-disclosure agreements. Once commercial devices become available I'd expect that to change. The nice thing about stop-start is an engine off cycle consumes about 40,000 watt seconds and even a 40 Ah battery has 1.8 million watt seconds of energy, so the drain is about 2.5% of the total energy and recovered in about 30 seconds 1 Jul, 04:02 PM

     

    break thread

     

    siliconhillbilly

     

    Thinking about kinetic energy recovery in a hybrid vehicle: I just pushed a few numbers around out of curiosity. Strictly BOE engineering.

     

    6 seconds of 10Hp (7kW, about) for acceleration assist is about 12Wh worth of energy. I am assuming 100% efficiency for this argument.

     

    for a 12V battery, 7000W/12V = 580A of current drain

     

    (This is a good reason NOT to use a 12V battery.) But my point here is that a mild hybrid that has battery assist acceleration and regenerative braking doesn't need much Energy storage. It needs LOTS of Power capability, both in charge AND discharge modes.

     

    Any battery vendor that talks about kWh (energy storage) as a major factor in choosing a battery technology for micro to mild hybrid, rather than maximum Power capability and cycling life, is attempting to change the subject.

     

    Isn't that interesting? 1 Jul, 04:25 PM

     

    Neil Energy
    Excellent question! 580 amps for 6 seconds is pretty crazy! I think you answered your own question about the 12V battery. For acceleration assist, you almost certainly need higher voltages (or weaker acceleration assist).

     

    Along similar lines, I keep wondering if ultracaps alone might be able to do the job. They can capture all of the braking energy, run the accessories (only for a little while) and help with acceleration assist if they have something left. They can be drained completely and charged in seconds from a beefy alternator. Whether ultracaps at 12 V makes sense is a good question because the cables for 580 amps have to be pretty hefty!

     

    From what I understand, the main thing holding ultracaps back is the cost and the limited energy storage. Batteries could run your A/C for several minutes if you didn't mind to run the battery down. The PbC has enough energy storage capacity and can tolerate reasonably deep discharges.

     

    It's going to be very interesting... 2 Jul, 12:15 AM

     

    John Petersen

     

    The battery used for GM's eAssist platform is apparently a 115 Volt, 0.5 kWh battery.

     

    www.greencarcongress.c...

     

    Maxwell says they can do the work with supercapacitors, but I expect the solution would be pretty pricey. Doing it with PbC would require significant engineering to make a battery with smaller but more numerous cells, but it's not rocket science. 2 Jul, 12:44 AM

     

    Aquaculture1

     

    Does Axions PbC offer any advantages over CSIRO's ultrabattery? We know where Axion is right now but where does Eastpenn and Furukawa stand in the manufacturing/commerci... step. Are both batteries similar? Perhaps you wrote about this before, I couldn't find it though, you wrote a lot of articles. And why does CSIRO have more confidence that the ultrabattery will be perfect for hev and even ev?
    1 Jul, 06:40 PM

     

    John Petersen

     

    Like the PbC, the available information on the Ultrabattery is limited. They did a road test a couple years ago in a modified Honda Insight and the Ultrabattery apparently performed well through 100,000 miles. Sandia tested the Ultrabattery in 2008 and it performed far better than AGM batteries with carbon enhanced pastes. East Penn is currently building a factory to manufacture the Ultrabattery and it should begin production next year (I think). Once East Penn is producing a commercial version of the Ultrabattery and Axion is producing a commercial version of the PbC, side by side comparisons will get easier.

     

    The Ultrabattery is basically half-way between a conventional lead-acid battery and the PbC. Instead of using a full sized carbon electrode for the negative the Ultrabattery uses a half-sized lead electrode and a half-sized carbon electrode.

     

    Every battery design involves trade-offs between energy, power cycle-life and cost. The PbC is a lower energy battery with higher power and a higher price point (I think). Since the PbC completely eliminates the lead on the negative plates it should have a much better cycle life. There are other technical issues that relate to the way the two devices use their negative electrodes, but discussing them in detail is beyond my depth. I consider the Ultrabattery a competing product and know the market's big enough to leave plenty of room for a number of successful solutions.

     

    The most important difference from an investor's perspective is that East Penn is privately held, CSIRO is a government agency and it's unclear what benefit Furukawa will derive if East Penn's commercialization efforts are successful.

     

    If you think AGM will get the job done over the long term, then JCI and XIDE are the place to be. If you want to go beyond AGM, then Axion's the only game in town. 2 Jul, 01:06 AM

     

    pianomanshl

     

    Everybody should read this.
    This is the first article that I came across explaining quite in detail about the current stop/start batteries problem.
    As John said, current stop/start batteries seem to have very very serious problem.

     

    thetruthaboutcars....

     

    www.thetruthaboutcars....

     

    "the current generation of stop-start systems lose half of their benefits after two weeks"

     

    I find it quite shocking. 2 Jul, 01:36 PM

     

    John Petersen replies:

     

    It's a serious problem that people haven't completely caught on to yet, but that's what made last year's ELBC presentation so shocking. It was basically BMW standing up next to Axion saying AGM is not going to cut it for stop-start but the PbC will. I've never heard of an automaker joining a technology developer in this kind of technical presentation. Sooner or later the importance will sink in.
    2 Jul, 03:43 PM

     

    siliconhillbilly, not a direct reply to JP

     

    Re the Ultrabattery vs PbC.

     

    This is a bit esoteric, but maybe it will help folks understand the competitive stance of the two technologies.

     

    Any electrochemistry system with two electrodes (you have to have at least two :>) has a voltage drop between the electrolyte (the liquid material that transports the ions) and the electrodes. The value of this voltage drop depends on the specific ionic chemistry involved, as well as the state of charge of the system. There will be a voltage drop at both the positive and negative electrode.

     

    Now, think about putting two electrodes in parallel to replace ONE of the original lead electrodes in a LA battery. That's what the Ultrabattery does on the negative side of the battery. One lead and one carbon electrode electrically connected together with a metal strap. The voltage drop of the carbon electrode-to-electrolyte will be different from the voltage drop of it's twin lead electrode. Herein lies the problem.

     

    When you charge the battery, the electrode with the lowest voltage will absorb most of the energy at the beginning. Only when the electrolyte-to-electrode voltage rises to near that of the other electrode will that second electrode begin flowing current and absorbing energy.

     

    Therefore the voltage across the battery terminals needs to change significantly, with something like a step between, for both of the negative electrodes, one lead and one carbon, to absorb energy. Likewise when the battery is discharged, the voltage must drop in two noticeable steps while the energy is being removed from the battery.

     

    This explanation is REALLY simplified and I do not know the details of the ionic chemistry involved. But I do know that the experts worry about the "dual voltage" effect. I assume they have been working hard to reduce the height of the voltage step so as to make the battery easier to integrate into existing auto electrical systems.
    But it may be that an extra (and expensive) electronic voltage regulator is required to smooth out the larger voltage swing at the battery terminals. This is an informed guess, not a known fact.

     

    I know I have taken liberties with the science during this explanation, but those interested can research it further. Much of this information if from my recent memory after reading about the concepts. Memory lapse is possible, if not likely ;-)

     

    I have a relatively tough skin, so fire away if you know I erred. 2 Jul, 04:20 PM

     

    John Petersen replies:

     

    You've summarized a phenomenon that's been explained to me a couple different times and made my non-technical eyes glaze over. From what I've been able to gather, the Ultrabattery discharges and charges the lead half-electrode in preference to the carbon half-electrode, which limits the capacitance and charge acceptance of the entire system. It also has to deal with hard sulfation issues on the lead half-electrode, even though the carbon does ameliorate the problem. Granted I only get to hear the story from the Axion perspective, but the guys I've talked to over the years are convinced that the PbC will offer significantly better performance. 3 Jul, 12:41 AM

     

    break thread

     

    481086

     

    If the long pole in the tent is making the carbon electrode just right, and then being able to mass manufacture them repeatedly in great numbers, all with identical properties, AND Axion has a wicked IP fence all over this, then it's hard to see how the ultrabattery's own carbon electrode portion could be comparable or competitive with what Axion has...wouldn't they have to have surmounted all the very same hurdles Axion itself has been fighting to get over all these years? 3 Jul, 02:53 AM
    John Petersen replies:
    There are also some nasty questions about the priority of Axion's patents which were issued years before the Ultrabattery was invented. Since I've always viewed patent law as a black art, I try to avoid the more arcane issues whenever possible. Dr. Buiel was a good deal less circumspect. The following comes from a January 2008 article in the MIT Technology Review.

     

    "Despite the reluctance of the auto industry to embrace the technology, Lamb is convinced that by 2010 there will be some Japanese-made hybrid cars on the market offering the UltraBattery option.

     

    However, Axion might have something to say about it. "We definitely think this technology is an excellent choice for hybrid-electric vehicles," says Buiel. "There's a lot of intellectual property in this area, and most of it is owned by Axion. Obviously, if we feel somebody violates our patent, we will defend that vigorously." ..."

     

    technologyreview.c.../ www.technologyreview.c...

     

    3 Jul, 03:21 AM

     

    siliconhillbilly

     

    This comment is in response to John's 19 JUL, 12:22 AM comment

     

    16V verses 12V - Why?

     

    I'm going to be greatly simplifying the electrochemistry for this comment, partly because I don't understand the details myself. But the concepts are close.

     

    Looking at the various graphs in the Axion-BMW presentation, it appears that the voltage of a Axion PbC cell at an intermediate state of charge, call it 50% SOC, is something less than that of a (standard AGM) dual lead electrode cell.

     

    A metal-electrolyte pair (call it a half-cell) has a voltage that is characteristic of the electrode's chemical properties and is relatively constant over some largish range of charge state. A porous carbon-electrolyte half-cell stores energy by piling up H+ ions on the very large surface area of the carbon. This process doesn't produce a stable voltage during discharge. Rather, the voltage drops as energy is removed. More like bleeding pressure from gas cylinder.

     

    Combining the two "half cells" into a lead-carbon (PbC) cell produces a cell voltage that, at full charge, is near that of a lead-lead cell. But as energy is extracted, the PbC cell voltage falls as energy is removed. This isn't a problem when starting the engine because of the small amount of energy removed. But over several minutes of time during the 50A+ hotel load, the voltage of a nominal 12V PbC battery could drop below the point where the conventional auto electronics can operate. Adding one or two extra cells ( not sure of the number) raises the full charge voltage to 16V. As this higher beginning voltage falls during a long discharge, it will still be above 12V when the maximum rated energy has been removed from the PbC battery. Thus preventing a low voltage failure of any of the systems operating when the engine is off during the Stop part of Stop-Start.

     

    Using a higher average voltage also allows the Ahr rating of the battery to be reduced some, while keeping the total energy stored (voltage x Ahr) the same. Since higher voltage means lower current for the same power draw, the higher voltage is actually a good idea for the overall system. Why? Current flow causes voltage drop thru any wiring resistance, so lower current means less voltage lost between the battery and the load. The tradeoff is more cells in the battery, but not more weight or size because each cell is slightly reduced in Ahr capacity. Therefore each cell volume is smaller and the total is near the same size as the original 12V design.

     

    As usual, if I made a blatant mistake in this comment, feel free to correct me.
    19 Jul, 12:57 PM

     

    John Petersen replies: Your explanation fits with everything I've been told over the years, but does a far better job of explaining the electrochemistry than I ever could. Many thanks for sharing your expertise. 19 Jul, 01:06 PM

     

    siliconhillbilly

     

    Re: JCI's statement about the PbC having "lower specific energy storage density"

     

    The true cost of any battery is NOT the cost of the battery "name plate" energy capacity (in Wh) but the cost of the TOTAL energy the battery can store and deliver during it's useful life. Using this metric, the PbC is many times better than the flooded lead acid battery and its AGM variant. One reasonable number is 5x better.

     

    Long term, deep cycle testing of the PbC by Axion stopped at 2500 cycles of 90% depth of discharge. The battery hadn't reached it's end of life. Depending on the testing parameters, it might take more than 12 hours for a charge-discharge deep cycle. So high number cycle testing can be an expensive, and long, proposition. Axion knew that wasn't the market (deep cycling) that they were after and didn't spend the additional months of testing needed to extend the number. But 2500 deep cycles is a very good number when compared to a conventional LA battery.

     

    The reason flooded LA batteries presently used for starting are so large in energy rating isn't because 500+ Wh are needed to do the job. Less than 2Wh will start any modern auto engine in good shape.
    Yes, 2 Watt-hours. So why are the flooded LA batteries so big? Mostly because flooded Lead Acid batteries do not respond well to high current discharge (200 to 300Amps) cycling. They begin to lose capacity almost immediately and in order to last 3-5 years ( only if properly maintained! ) need to be much larger. A PbC battery of half the capacity should last at least 5 years in a starting only application, with no maintenance.

     

    Of course for S-S requirements the battery also needs to supply the "engine off" power to run the heater, lights and stereo for minutes at each stop. That requires FAR more power than starting the engine. The BMW test used 50A at 12V for one minute, or 10Wh.

     

    That's why the auto companies are so interested. They know that if the PbC carbon electrode production quality can be controlled, they have a solution that will last for years and might actually weigh less then the current flooded lead acid battery . With high volume production experience it might even be cheaper.

     

    So don't be confused with claims that the PbC battery has "lower specific energy density". If both batteries are new and are cycled once, then the PbC will store 30% less energy for the same weight at a 50% depth of discharge. But that number just isn't relevant to the Stop-Start application. Otherwise why would BMW spend well over a year carefully testing and watching the PbC production quality? They can calculate the Wh/ Kg and Wh/ liter numbers as well as JCI can. But it's just not important for Stop-Start systems. 20 Jul, 07:58 PM

     

    SILICONHILLBILLY 25 JULY 2011
    25 Jul 2011, 02:56 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    When you filter out the extraneous, it's easy to see why I think the comments are far more interesting than the articles that kick them off. Without the comment sections I'd have run out of things to write about years ago. As it is, the comments are what tell me the things that investors understand well, understand poorly or don't understand at all.
    25 Jul 2011, 04:33 AM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Thanks Siliconhillbilly! Terrific.

     

    At the moment, I have to head out to a consignment store, but am looking forward to reading your geeky info upon my return.

     

    ####

     

    GTC order in for some Axion today @ $0.62.
    25 Jul 2011, 09:28 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    OT: Should be a great day for GWG
    25 Jul 2011, 09:49 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19441) | Send Message
     
    (AXPW): I'm thinking you won't get that. It's getting ready to turn back up AFAICT., after making a low of $0.61.

     

    HardToLove
    25 Jul 2011, 10:01 AM Reply Like
  • lsd_lsm
    , contributor
    Comments (130) | Send Message
     
    Why do you say that today ... was there an announcement?
    25 Jul 2011, 10:08 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    I got a head's up e-mail from Lifton on the announcement this morning.

     

    Jul 25, 2011: GWMG Signs Groundbreaking Heads of Terms To Build Rare Earth Separation Plant In South Africa.

     

    "Great Western Minerals Group ("GWMG") is pleased to announce that it has negotiated a Heads of Terms with Ganzhou Qiandong Rare Earth Group Ltd. ("GQD") of China to build a Rare Earth separation plant in South Africa, located in proximity to GWMG’s Steenkampskraal operation."
    25 Jul 2011, 10:16 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6282) | Send Message
     
    Nicely put John. Right now I am confused.

     

    This is from Maya's report:

     

    [I believe the vote that took place today about adding common shares up to 200,000,000 will pass. Granville said Axion does not currently need money. He does not expect the offering to occur within the next two months. The ability to have the shelf offering, which this time will be public rather than private, will expire on March 15, 2012. Granville stated that if the offering does occur, if Axion needs more money, it would be after a, "Price spike," he said, getting the valuation over $75,000,000. ]

     

    * The statement that Granville does not expect "the offering" to occur within the next two months implies "the offering" he is referring to is the 75M new shares. Is that interpretation correct?

     

    * What does Granville mean by "getting the valuation over $75M" when at the current valuation of .62 per share, the current valuation is $77.5M (125M X .62)?

     

    $75M / 125M shares equals to .60 per share.
    $75M / 200M shares equals .375 per share.

     

    * Should something be read into that "next two months" time line? What could happen after two months that might require a lot more cash?

     

    Is this a burn rate issue, or is some debt coming due, or could the two months reference refer to a business opportunity presenting itself that could require a substantial expansion in their capital position?

     

    * Please read between the lines here.... What circumstances would require that much more Cash?

     

    I am inclined to believe its a veiled reference to a business opportunity because of the reference to "price spike".
    25 Jul 2011, 10:16 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    ?? AFAICT ??
    25 Jul 2011, 10:17 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19441) | Send Message
     
    Apologies John, it's shorthand for "As Far As I Can Tell".

     

    Guys around from the ol' TTY 15 cps days got heavily into abbreviations.

     

    Plus, I'm a lousy typist - the less typed the better. :-\

     

    Here's a link to some help when I do this ... might be useful in some of your other discussions too?

     

    www.acronymfinder.com/

     

    HardToLove
    25 Jul 2011, 10:37 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    I'm just a middle-aged dog trying to learn new tricks.
    25 Jul 2011, 10:54 AM Reply Like
  • Bob Haeger
    , contributor
    Comments (67) | Send Message
     
    There's only 85M shares outstanding resulting in a market cap of 53M. At 75M market cap the PPS would have to be 0.88.
    25 Jul 2011, 11:48 AM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » FPA: From three different sources I have the current market cap at 55.5M. Bob Haeger's PPS of $0.88 at a 75M market cap is accurate.

     

    Perhaps Granville knows something we common shareholders don't in that he did say the offering would come after a price spike. To me this means something will be announced within the next two months or so to cause the spike, and that's why I suggested it's a tradeable event.

     

    Granville also talked about the DOE announcement; if it does not occur. He said Axion will continue on course either way. What we shareholders will lose out on is the "who" question of which Detroit OEM is potentially contracting with Axion, as well as the mystery institution, of which over on Yahoo! Finance, speculation is being made that it's geographically close Penn State.

     

    If the debt ceiling is not raised and government subsidy programs are cut, like the one Axion has filed for, then there must be some other event or announcement in the works to cause the spike.

     

    My best guess would then be more Norfolk related news, or even better, that another train company comes into fold like Union Pacific. A few weeks ago, I read where the EPA was going after Union Pacific in southern California due to the rail yards producing above tolerance diesel fumes.

     

    When time permits, I'll try to chase down any updates on this potentially very important development for us shareholders.

     

    It is highly likely that Union Pacific is paying very close attention to what Norfolk is doing to reduce their carbon footprint, while saving money to boot.

     

    This is all pure speculation, but to me it makes a heck of a lot of sense.

     

    Nasty bank of T-storms rolling in, so I'm going to shut down the puter until it passes.
    25 Jul 2011, 01:59 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » John: (GWMGF) has made quite the leap recently. Glad I have some of this one on the board, too. Thanks for the update.

     

    Jack Lifton is terrific!
    25 Jul 2011, 02:05 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6282) | Send Message
     
    Yes, I saw that same market cap number. That number comes from multiplying the current stock price X issued shares, which is listed as 85.45M.

     

    I mistakenly used John's authorized capitalization number of shares instead of the issued shares. So I multiplied 125M by the current valuation which this morning was at .62.

     

    Of course, now the authorized capitalization is 200M shares. There are 85.45M issued shares. So there is a potential for 114.55 shares to be issued. Which is 134% more then the current number of outstanding shares. Are their any conclusiions to be made from that?

     

    On that hugely positive shareholder vote to incrase their capitalization, I note that over 70% of the stock is owned by insiders. I think that explains the hugely positive shareholders vote results. Why would the insiders overwhelmingly vote for a big incease in the authorized capitalization? What do they know?

     

    I also suspect the railroad business is the money train...
    25 Jul 2011, 02:44 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    You need to remember that in addition to the 85 million shares, there are about 15 million outstanding options and warrants that are exercisable at prices in the $1 to $2 range. The other 100 million will be held in reserve till they're needed, but it would be a dreadful thing to need the authorization and not have it.

     

    The view of the long-term non-management stockholders I talk with is that we've got a tiger by the tail. We expected Axion to introduce the PbC, sell some battery strings to wind and solar installations, learn by trial and error and eventually work its way up the food chain over a period of several years.

     

    That plan became irrelevant in the summer of 2009 when Axion made a simple poster presentation of performance data for a mostly-manufactured PbC prototype at the Advanced Automotive Battery Conference. Shortly thereafter potential customers started coming out of the woodwork and taking the initiative to go New Castle without being courted and cajoled by Axion's non-existent sales force. The traffic never died down.

     

    Norfolk Southern's 2010 Sustainability Report says "we recruited a new partner, Axion Power International Inc." BMW made a joint presentation with Axion at last fall's ELBC in Istanbul and effectively said the PbC is the only battery that can stand up to the demands of stop-start. We learned in March that Axion has been working on HEV applications with a US major for over a year and they're happy enough with the results to take second billing on a DOE grant application. Those are incredibly strong and unbelievably public positions for major companies to take with respect to a new storage device that doesn't even exist in a final commercial form.

     

    Today there's a very small club of SA readers who know my name and have read long enough to know that Axion exists. Sooner or later something will happen to give Axion exposure to the broader market and that should be a whole lot of fun when people who haven't lived through the pain focus on the accomplishments.
    25 Jul 2011, 04:03 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Thanks Siliconhillbilly, for taking the time to post these interesting conversations! Though much of this floats right over my head, it still was interesting to attempt to digest.

     

    Really enjoyed reading the AGM/PbC debate.
    25 Jul 2011, 04:03 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6282) | Send Message
     
    You are my vade mecum John.
    25 Jul 2011, 04:57 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » HTL: You may be correct. I'd like to increase my position by about 20%. It's crazy, but I hope Axion does retreat back into the lower $0.6x. It's a 90 day GTC, so we'll see. If I miss it, I'm still good to go with the number of shares I already hold.

     

    ####

     

    On another note involving the auto industry, Bill HR 1380, introduced this past April, I just learned about. It's pro nat-gas subsidies for autos, fleets and trucks. Here's the full text of this bill:

     

    www.govtrack.us/congre...

     

    Even though I'm pro nat-gas, if methane capturing is mandated, my stance remains to let the markets decide what they want to do, without Uncle Sam's subsidizing.

     

    What I'm curious about is how nat-gas ICE's would deal with stop start technology.
    25 Jul 2011, 05:16 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19441) | Send Message
     
    (AXPW): Oh, 90 days. I think there's a decent chance at that. Until it can break the $0.65 resistance longer-term it should continue to vacillate around this area. And there is a falling recent support that should intersect $0.60 in about 2 weeks or so.

     

    The question would be does price stick in the range or start to move away from that support, ~$0.615 today.

     

    There's a falling resistance line I don't know if is still in effect. Today it's $0.67 and falling ~$0.004/day.

     

    Then a price resistance at $0.68.

     

    I think the tell comes in that $0.67/$0.68 range. If we fall back from that, your $0.62 seems a decent chance.

     

    If we move through it, I think we go to $0.70, maybe $0.73.

     

    But that stuff is some days (greater than a week?) away.

     

    Re, NG ICE: fuel should make no difference other than the political pressure will be less for stop-start because the short-sighted folks in the Clownsgress will figure it's local and we have a hundred years of it in the ground so "What? Me worry?".

     

    I would prefer to see the SS applied first and be mandatory as it is beneficial regardless of fuel or it's source. And NG is not "perfectly green" either, just better than what we're doing right now.

     

    Further, SS is probably the most "bang for the buck" you can get for both efficiency and air quality. No additional infrastructure needed.

     

    Then as the big rigs start using more NG and the infrastructure *naturally* expands, it will be more attractive for private passenger vehicles too.

     

    Think every state having moved well down the path of Utah, where I *hear* NG is widely used and the infrastructure is in place.

     

    HardToLove
    25 Jul 2011, 05:48 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Thanks, Hard. Maybe someday in the future, the cleanest air and quietest place found in a big city...will be around the traffic lights!
    25 Jul 2011, 06:23 PM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2728) | Send Message
     
    Maya, there is more on the JCI position vs. PbC and other battery technologies that isn't there. I need to locate the JCI document and sift it for the appropriate quotes. That might take a bit. Some of the most interesting hints are in what WASN'T said. Some of the quotes are what lead to the comments I posted. Messy business. But that's DD ;-)
    25 Jul 2011, 06:31 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19441) | Send Message
     
    Is this where you'll find it?

     

    seekingalpha.com/artic...

     

    HardToLove
    25 Jul 2011, 06:56 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Jack's blog on the Great Western refining project is here:
    www.techmetalsresearch.../
    26 Jul 2011, 01:00 AM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I especially liked reading the legal theatrics Jack endured, and whipped.
    26 Jul 2011, 10:40 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    It's really odd when you consider that I've never heard a peep.
    26 Jul 2011, 10:51 AM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2728) | Send Message
     
    RE Nat gas and hybrid locomotives: I have this fantasy of using a 1MW, Natural gas fueled gas turbine combined with a PbC battery array on a hybrid locomotive. Or maybe 2 or more smaller turbines. The increased efficiency could well compensate for the lower energy density of LNG and so keep the fuel tank size small enough for mounting on a single frame. Very clean and quiet!

     

    For a yard engine or "return home at night" application, the cost of the LNG infrastructure would be as low as possible. Adding a secondary LNG tank car could make it a long haul puller.

     

    For the nest 10-20 years, NG is going to be the bulk fuel of choice for pollution and CO2 emission reductions as well as cost control. 80 cents worth of NG to replace $3 worth of diesel sounds tempting.

     

    But can the LNG infrastructure be added economically? I don't know, but It should be worth additional investigation, especially if the genset-battery hybrids work out well. Go PbC :-)
    26 Jul 2011, 05:43 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4819) | Send Message
     
    >siliconhillbilly ... There is no reason that a LNG locomotive can't be in the future. Particularly a gen-set. There are problems associated with low pressure systems but engine design has been progressing in other NG transport engines that the rails could adapt.

     

    This is a little testing detail featuring the 2 LNG demonstration coal hauling consists. Others have been used in switching in Peru & port sites since but I've not seen anything like the detail. Just PR blurbs.

     

    www.users.qwest.net/~kryopak/mk1200G.htm

     

    (the link won't work because of that "~", so copy & paste)

     

    As with most rail applications over the past 50 years, fuel economy & maximizing horsepower are the goals. Many things have been tried and engines have improved but the rails await a battery.

     

    transportation.northwe...

     

    www.greenrailnews.com/...

     

    A few additional just for fun
    26 Jul 2011, 07:32 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19441) | Send Message
     
    Great stuff DRich!

     

    Thx for those links.

     

    I never had a model train set as a kid - this stuff might just do! :-))

     

    HardToLove
    27 Jul 2011, 05:15 AM Reply Like
  • magounsq
    , contributor
    Comments (957) | Send Message
     
    Great synopsis!
    30 Jul 2011, 10:40 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4819) | Send Message
     
    >siliconhillbilly and everyone else ... I've heard that in S/S that the battery will carry the load of all ancillary equipment. I've always assumed that this will a direct draw on the battery. Is this true.

     

    I was thinking that it might not be a bad design to have the generator/alternator keep running via electric motor clutched in during stop events and belt driven with engine running. Is this a viable design? Which draw down method would be "easier" on the battery? Just spit-ballin' here.

     

    What makes me ask this stupid question is that, at least here in Texas in day 28 or above 100 deg, the compressor might need to run during stop events. if the compressor needs to run then why not the generator. I don't recall ever seeing a specific configuration described. Maybe it's just my fading memory.
    30 Jul 2011, 11:08 PM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2728) | Send Message
     
    >DRich

     

    "I've heard that in S/S that the battery will carry the load of all ancillary equipment. I've always assumed that this will a direct draw on the battery. Is this true."

     

    YES

     

    "I was thinking that it might not be a bad design to have the generator/alternator keep running via electric motor clutched in during stop events and belt driven with engine running. Is this a viable design? Which draw down method would be "easier" on the battery? Just spit-ballin' here."

     

    NO, it's not viable. Leaving the engine ON defeats the entire reason for S-S. At idle, the engine is very inefficient. Friction and pumping losses eat up a large percent of the power produced. Fuel burned for almost nothing.

     

    "What makes me ask this stupid question is that, at least here in Texas in day 28 or above 100 deg, the compressor might need to run during stop events. If the compressor needs to run then why not the generator. I don't recall ever seeing a specific configuration described. Maybe it's just my fading memory. "

     

    NOT a stupid question! Lights, AC and instruments all have to run from the battery. In Europe, I don't think the designs for S-S have dealt with air conditioning with the engine OFF. At least not yet. In Texas, they better! I would guess that an all electric AC compressor is coming soon to a 2013 car somewhere in the southern US.

     

    I have hints of a large (well funded) air conditioning company prototyping an entirely new and highly efficient, small rotary compressor for Freon compression. No pistons. Not a turbine. It has to be efficient to keep the "hotel" battery down to a reasonable size, of course. Interesting things coming.
    30 Jul 2011, 11:48 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4819) | Send Message
     
    >siliconhillbilly ... I didn't mean to leave the engine ON. That would rather defeat the definition of STOP, thus I didn't think (or need) to clarify. My Bad. I meant to run compressor (already electric clutched) & generator off a clutched in Electric, battery energized, motor. Dual clutching AC & gen. I should be more clear.

     

    My thinking was it might be the most simplistic controls system to get the job done. My concern was that it might be a bigger drain than shifting the load directly to the battery because of variable loads from whatever is normally (or seasonally) on in the electrical system.
    31 Jul 2011, 12:34 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    I think you may have fallen into one of those perpetual motion traps where the electric system powers a generator to power the electric system.
    31 Jul 2011, 05:58 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    I suspect a better battery would be the cheapest alternative.
    31 Jul 2011, 06:00 AM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (10329) | Send Message
     
    Exactly, perpetual motion, which would actually pile inefficiency on top of inefficiency.
    Masterflux, and probably others, already have electric compressors that can be powered directly from batteries.
    www.evdrive.com/bmw_pr...
    Obviously you need a good amount of reserve power to do so for long periods, (as in an EV or hybrid battery pack). Stop start can only do so much, in a real traffic jam the motor will have to start back up if you want your A/C to stay on.
    31 Jul 2011, 09:50 AM Reply Like
  • Futurist
    , contributor
    Comments (2109) | Send Message
     
    I'm sure that I am reading your response wrong. You have posted many times and are always in favor of EVs over other oil saving technologies. That is your opinion and I respect it although I can't agree with it. But how exactly does an EV,sitting in a traffic Jam, running the battery down due to the AC and radio,etc, any different than a S/S system. Sure the battery is larger but now we have significantly less power to drive all the way home and accomplish the task of getting from point A to B. Trying to harangue one technology and not recognizing the limitations of another does not make for a decent debate.

     

    For once I wold love for you to admit that S/S technology, widely adopted ( ie. standard equipment) would save a huge amount of oil and not be an expensive fix to a big problem? I'm not asking you if a successful EV adoption would save more fuel. I'm asking if you believe a widely adopted S/S technology will be a great oil saver for the US and Europe. If your answer is yes then the companies involved in S/S will be great investments. If you believe EVs are the one true answer to the oil problem then I guess unproven EV companies will be the better investment. Unfortunately I do not know which companies that would be since no Ev company, to date, has made a profit or a big enough sales splash to show a future profit.
    31 Jul 2011, 06:44 PM Reply Like
  • froggey77
    , contributor
    Comments (3177) | Send Message
     
    Just a point.
    I have tried shutting off my AC to see how long the air coming in would remain cool.
    The answer was about 10 seconds.
    Not nearly long enough to just ignore this problem.

     

    Trying to use mass of some kind would require too much and would not be precooled for afternoon rush hour.

     

    I see no possibility for leaving the compressor off for S/S
    31 Jul 2011, 09:27 PM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (10329) | Send Message
     
    You've misinterpreted my position. I own stock in AXPW, I think stop start is a reasonable though very limited move in the right direction. The problem with SS remains as I stated, in a real traffic jam the motor will have to run quite a lot where a vehicle with a larger pack will not. Of course that will use energy from the pack and reduce range, but with a large EV pack it's a very small percentage of total energy, coupled with the fact that at low speed creeping along an EV uses less energy. Additionally SS does nothing to improve mileage during longer steady state driving.
    1 Aug 2011, 09:31 AM Reply Like
  • Tim Enright
    , contributor
    Comments (1345) | Send Message
     
    I agree and suspect the engine will need to keep running (or be restarted) when higher ambient air temperatures require AC. I don't see this as a deal killer do you?
    18 Aug 2011, 06:46 PM Reply Like
  • froggey77
    , contributor
    Comments (3177) | Send Message
     
    Tim
    No I don't see it as a deal breaker.
    The new systems run with much less refrigerant than I remember.
    12 to 28 Oz.
    Using the 10 second number I got and assuming a 90 sec. stop.
    They would need space to hide carry 6-15 lbs and the space to put it in.
    I think the AC would need to be larger to cool that much refrigerant off in the time the battery needs to be charged. Say in a traffic jam.
    18 Aug 2011, 09:29 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    As I recall the stop-start systems come with both low and high temperature cut-offs that avoid uncomfortable cabin temperatures. They also come with driver selectable disable options. If the OEMs are worried about small annoyances like dark screens you can bet that they've considered the climate control issues too.
    18 Aug 2011, 11:56 PM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2728) | Send Message
     
    H. T. Love, no, it's from JCI. Possibly a conference call transcript. I'll find it.
    25 Jul 2011, 07:07 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4073) | Send Message
     
    Probably mentioned before, but AAA now has a pilot program for emergency roadside assistance for people with electric cars that run out of juice:
    autos.yahoo.com/news/r...
    which is being supplied by Green Charge Networks:
    green.autoblog.com/201.../
    and here is Green Charge Networks website:
    greenchargenet.com/
    26 Jul 2011, 12:35 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19441) | Send Message
     
    TG that Axion is not (at this time) addressing *that* market.

     

    Lot's of stuff wrong with the model if you believe JP, and I *do*, for the current state of technology and cost all along the chain.

     

    The *only* model I've seen him suggest *might* succeed is (KNDI). It's got a chance, receiving support from some municipalities, early postal service trials and the utility. Recently there's also been some purchaser incentives (~$3K) added to the mix.

     

    It's business model and manner of addressing some of the shortcomings of all-electric ATM offers the possibility. But the stock is being tainted, IMO, by the broad brush of anti-Chinese company sentiment right now due to recent disclosures of fraudulent actions by some Chinese companies.

     

    Recovery time might be substantial.

     

    Disclosure: no position, now or in the past.

     

    HardToLove
    26 Jul 2011, 07:34 AM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » What I read a few weeks back about Union Pacific (and Burlington Northern Santa Fe) polution at railyards. Seems that a potential lawsuit under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act is coming in about two months, from the NRDC, regarding 16 railyards in California. An $846,000 study is in process, concentrating on the San Bernadino railyard.

     

    This lawsuit potentially could open up the doors for further lawsuits toward other railyards nationwide. Ports and airports, too.

     

    www.huffingtonpost.com...

     

    Perhaps why Norfolk is experimenting with a 100% battery driven switcher?
    26 Jul 2011, 10:38 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6282) | Send Message
     
    Bought (AXPW) this morning.
    26 Jul 2011, 10:40 AM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4819) | Send Message
     
    >Mayascribe ... The included link is just an indication of how serious the state of California is about yard switchers cleaning up their act. This is cash for clunker on a larger scale.

     

    www.bidsync.com/DPX?ac...

     

    It's not "All Electric" but National Railway Equipment makes the closest thing to it with "Green Goat" gen-set conversions. Another market for Axion if/when the Norfolk projects work the the rail industry's satisfaction.
    26 Jul 2011, 12:30 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Great find, DRich! The plot thickens....
    26 Jul 2011, 12:34 PM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2728) | Send Message
     
    Green Goat battery-genset hybrid locomotive legacy.

     

    bit.ly/qmI0Ds

     

    OR
    Google under "green goat" and look for Wikipedia entry.

     

    I know there was at least one battery fire, in Ft. Worth TX.
    One company returned a GG as unsatisfactory.
    I am assuming that battery problems were the reason.
    All BNSF GGs have been rebuilt as genset only types or stored.
    26 Jul 2011, 01:33 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4819) | Send Message
     
    >Mayscribe ... The required date of service, 31 Oct 11, fits closely with your conspiracy theory. I've no idea if it means anything at all. The way things have been going ... probably not.
    27 Jul 2011, 01:29 AM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » A peculiar day so far with Axion trading. Stock hasn't moved off $0.65, and yet 104,000 plus shares have swapped hands. Don't recall seeing this before.
    26 Jul 2011, 10:43 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6282) | Send Message
     
    I was wondering the same thing Maya... Of course, if the trades are all around 10K, that means ten transactions... that might account for part of the lack of variability.
    26 Jul 2011, 10:58 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    You can get time and trade detail for the last 30 trades at otcbb.com if you enter the symbol and select Depth/LII.

     

    So far today the average trade size is 4,818 and the average transaction price is $.6499.

     

    It's the damnedest thing I've ever seen but the day is still young.
    26 Jul 2011, 11:19 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6282) | Send Message
     
    Oh Man!!! That's great John... thank you very much.
    26 Jul 2011, 11:23 AM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4819) | Send Message
     
    >JP ... I went back and listened to the JCI Analyst Day and they mentioned several times that they expect LA to be the leader into the next decade and JCI to be the leader in that (of course). What struck me as odd was the number of times they mentioned a "disruptive technology" as if they were expecting it without any definition of what it might be.

     

    I should have written the quotes down. Wish I had some good voice to text software.
    26 Jul 2011, 11:48 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    "Palo Alto, Calif. — February 6, 2006 — Frost & Sullivan has selected Axion Power International as the recipient of the 2006 Frost & Sullivan Technology Innovation Award for North America in the field of lead acid batteries for developing an innovative lead-acid-carbon battery-supercapacitor hybrid that could cause disruptive changes in the market."

     

    www.frost.com/prod/ser...
    26 Jul 2011, 12:09 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    The day ended weirdly. There were a total of 53 trades (3,997 share average size) that went off at an average price for the day of $0.6462, even though the stock closed at $.62.
    27 Jul 2011, 01:15 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19441) | Send Message
     
    Near EOD activities as some folks get spooked or something?

     

    Until 15:18, low stayed >= $0.64 on higher than recent normal volume with sparse trading. Very sparse trading in AXION has become very common recently - I think the few willing lower-priced sellers and "bottom feeders" like me are refusing to budge much right now.

     

    Anyway, @ 15:19 5K sold taking price down to $0.63; 15:32 208 shares @ $0.635; 15:34 2 trades of 100 & 400 shares @ $0.63; 15:58 2,500 @ $0.63, 8.650 @ $0.62.

     

    AH had 4,200 go at $0.6315 at 15:16:21.

     

    So we had a perfectly good 207K share day with stable price seemingly ruined by some flaky EOD behavior involving ~16.8K shares with a crummy 8K+ giving it up at $0.62.

     

    Maybe macro-economic fear or watching the "Drama Queens" in the U.S. government play their roles drove these late-day trades? But I have a hard time imagining those small quantities would help anybody with those concerns.

     

    HardToLove
    27 Jul 2011, 05:46 AM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Ah...the dreamy novelist in me.

     

    Purely conjecture, but quite feasible if it is determined that people who live around the railyards, especially children, are being deleteriously affected health-wise by the continual act of breathing in diesel exhaust particulates; and from that in time we learn the government has mandated that railroad operators have to "scrub" emissions, or risk be fined mountains of money, or find an alternative to using diesel powered locomotives.

     

    It's obvious something here is going on, otherwise a near million dollar study would have never been commissioned. If the aged and children are being affected by a greater percent than normal for asthma or emphysema, or even worse, cancer, than the national acturarial norm, I'm behind the idea to force railroad operators to clean up their act.

     

    If this is, or becomes apparent, and Uncle Sam is about ready to swing a big stick, then Axion appears to be in the lead as a provider of a solution, which also happens to hold the makings of being economically viable.

     

    This makes for a win, win, win, situation. The people who live around the railyards will be breathing better quality air (and maybe the values of there homes also increase a tad); the owners of the railroad companies, from being forced to seek out ways to meliorate air quality, incredibly in a way that actually also helps their bottom lines; and, to the shareholders and employees of Axion Power whom potentially stand a great chance to benefit because of Axion's technology.

     

    Taking a recount...that's a four win situation.
    26 Jul 2011, 12:09 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I'll add...that the time frame of Granville's stating that Axion will not offer the secondary for at least two months during the conference, comes in line with this potential lawsuit from the NRDC.

     

    Again, purely conjecture...but the timing of what Granville stated (two months), and this potential lawsuit (also two months away), is strangely coincidental.
    26 Jul 2011, 12:16 PM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2728) | Send Message
     
    Maya, you may be on to something.

     

    Postponing the legal action by showing progress towards solving the problem (adopting hybrid electrics) might be cheaper than litigation now and still having to fix the pollution problem later. Too bad we can't hear the discussion between the parties. I wonder how much battery a rail company would need to buy to show "good faith"?
    26 Jul 2011, 12:25 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » siliconhillbilly: Yeah, it's so darn logical it frightens me that I conjured up this time-sequenced scenario. But now it's like we're all on to something.

     

    Great points about averting litigation by "demonstrating concern and making things happen immediately," especially induced to do so because how net profit is improved.
    26 Jul 2011, 12:41 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    One of the nice things about patents is that like a loaf of bread they can be sliced and diced any number of ways to treat different market niches differently, farming some out to others while keeping the higher value applications in house for instance.
    26 Jul 2011, 12:49 PM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2728) | Send Message
     
    GTC buy on Axion at $0.63
    26 Jul 2011, 12:10 PM Reply Like
  • Moon Kil Woong
    , contributor
    Comments (13372) | Send Message
     
    It is always great to read a little about the technology and not all about the share price. In the end most of these companies run on process advancements and technology. The revenue streams and profitability derived from them are the residue of the system.
    26 Jul 2011, 01:43 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19441) | Send Message
     
    > JP

     

    Here's one for you to sink your teeth into.

     

    Another "Big Name" firm drinks the kool-aid.

     

    www.investorvillage.co...

     

    There's several links in that article that might be of interest.

     

    HardToLove
    26 Jul 2011, 05:49 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Whenever I read things like that blog I want to tear my hair out because of the logical leaps that don't seem to be supported by the facts.
    27 Jul 2011, 01:16 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19441) | Send Message
     
    The sad part is they're probably making a good living with that stuff *and* they have all their hair too since they never have to worry about real facts produced by digging and critical thinking! :-))

     

    There's just no justice in the world!

     

    HardToLove
    27 Jul 2011, 05:50 AM Reply Like
  • LabTech
    , contributor
    Comments (1778) | Send Message
     
    HTL,
    The original article is from Jan, 2010 so I wouldn't think it has much bearing on current decisions. Just shows they don't have anything current to support the position so they are pointing back to old information.
    27 Jul 2011, 10:04 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19441) | Send Message
     
    Ha! That's even more interesting. A year to update, read JP's stuff, look at changing environment, ... I guess someone gets paid by article postings or some such!

     

    <*sigh*> Is becoming really, really jaded an effect of just being me or my ... "advanced years"?

     

    HardToLove
    27 Jul 2011, 10:56 AM Reply Like
  • magounsq
    , contributor
    Comments (957) | Send Message
     
    Mayascribe...

     

    New to your IB...interesting recap and good at that for it being "over your head"...thanks...

     

    Joe
    27 Jul 2011, 03:42 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » magnounsq: Thanks! Took every bit of my synapses and neurons to digest and put into layman's terms.

     

    What I'm enjoying the most from this Instablog are the comments and links provided by so many excellent minds. Hoping this Instablog can be extended into a form of "concentrator," where as news develops and the Axion story grows, the fine people here will care enough to drop in with a link, opinion, or contribution, even if it's not about Axion, but other battery makers as well.

     

    Because Instablogs or articles tend to slow down significantly as the comment stream builds in comments, I will provide a new link around 125 to 150 comments, to assist participants from waiting for the loading time to complete.
    27 Jul 2011, 04:02 PM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2728) | Send Message
     
    John, or anyone. What is the usable "C" number range for the PbC? What conditions determine that range?

     

    Yes, it is a rather open ended question, but it's important.
    27 Jul 2011, 08:25 PM Reply Like
  • froggey77
    , contributor
    Comments (3177) | Send Message
     
    Silicon
    I'm not sure about the C range alone, but as I understand it.
    PbC will work everywhere regular Lead acid works, and won't anywhere LA won't.
    Hope this helps.
    27 Jul 2011, 08:43 PM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2728) | Send Message
     
    >froggey77 Actually, PbC is much better than conventional LA (flooded or AGM) for Stop-Start use. I am trying to get a feel for how MUCH better. BMW has tortured the PbC in their computerized cycle test designed to mimic Stop-Start usage. They think it will work well. I've seen the data and I agree. They do seem to have a few competent engineers working there ;-)

     

    My questions are about higher level hybrid uses like coasting, engine off energy recovery and braking energy recovery. Coasting recovery doesn't seem all that stressful because of the lower kinetic energy involved. But regenerative braking is much more stressful if a significant percentage of the energy is going to be recovered at higher speed.

     

    For example, if you need a 3kWh battery in order to absorb the peak energy from braking, it will cost and weigh more than if a 1kWh battery is capable of handling the same peak. That is a function of C and several operational conditions. It gets complicated.

     

    For any use beyond S-S and possibly coast, Axion will need to design a new battery package and possibly a new sized carbon electrode. But it isn't worth the effort if C is wrong.
    27 Jul 2011, 11:41 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    I've never seen a C-rate published for the PbC and wouldn't want to guess because I believe it varies with the SOC, meaning that there's a higher C-rate while the carbon is discharging and a lower C-rate when the lead takes over. A couple years ago Sandia tested the Ultrabattery at rates of up to 4C in a utility cycle life test (10% DOD at 50% SOC) and it performed well.

     

    www.sandia.gov/ess/doc...

     

    I would expect the PbC to perform better. While it's only a rough guess because we don't have battery specs on the device tested by BMW, the dynamic charging was done at something in the neighborhood of a 2C rate, but the tests were limited more by the capacity of the test rack than they were by the device itself. After all, nobody's ever wanted to test lead-acid at currents over 100 Amps before.
    28 Jul 2011, 12:43 AM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » siliconhillbilly: That's a great point. What I'm curious about is that "creep" affect. That "coasting effect" you implied. Being when I "sail" to a stop, and then everbody in front of me, creeps forward and toward that stop light, say, during Atlanta suburb rush hour traffic, and I'm still two green lights away from getting through, I wonder how efficient stop/start is, as I stop/start toward the traffic light.

     

    I'm reading where the some of the greatest savings during daily driving experiences "should" occur during highway traffic jams. I'd like to see more data.

     

    Those intermitent little touches to the gas peddle and then the brakes must be hard to simulate in a labratory.

     

    Expect BMW is putting this basic idea into their feasibility metrics, as well as your much more complicated metrics.

     

    28 Jul 2011, 12:47 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    In Axion's year end conference call Tom Granville said:

     

    "For the past year, we have also been working on hybrid vehicle applications with a giant U.S. automotive manufacturer. In the first quarter of 2011, we submitted a joint proposal to the DoE with this manufacturer."

     

    Most stockholders have fixated on the OEM's identify, but I'm more interested in knowing the level of hybridization. My conservative nature assumes a mild hybrid configuration but full hybrid is not out of the question.

     

    With a year of work under their belt before the grant application was submitted, I have to assume the C-rate question was asked and resolved several times over.
    28 Jul 2011, 12:54 AM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2728) | Send Message
     
    I suspect you are right, John. But it's the engineer in me that wants to know! Knowledge is power. And maybe money, too ;-) The more I know about the range of apps for the PbC the better I can target my investment funds.

     

    I already think the production ramp up is going to be more rapid than I believed just a few months ago. The only downside I see for Axion is a world wide debt crunch causing a sharp consumer pullback. Car sales, freight rates and oil could all slide on that scenario. Energy saving investments pulled back to conserve cash. Not nice.

     

    Sigh.
    28 Jul 2011, 01:11 AM Reply Like
  • froggey77
    , contributor
    Comments (3177) | Send Message
     
    Silicon
    Sorry it was an answer from ignorance.

     

    I was thinking C as in Centigrade.
    28 Jul 2011, 07:47 PM Reply Like
  • froggey77
    , contributor
    Comments (3177) | Send Message
     
    JP
    Granville noted: "Our products could be used in a full hybrid, but the OEMs have been really telling us that that is not where their focus is going to be because of the cost" and the desire to roll new models out quickly.

     

    solveclimatenews.com/n...
    28 Jul 2011, 07:53 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    The C-rate is explained here.

     

    batteryuniversity.com/...

     

    "Most portable batteries are rated at 1C, meaning that a 1,000mAh battery that is discharged at 1C rate should under ideal conditions provide a current of 1,000mA for one hour. The same battery discharging at 0.5C would provide 500mA for two hours, and at 2C, the 1,000mAh battery would deliver 2,000mA for 30 minutes. 1C is also known as a one-hour discharge; a 0.5C is a two-hour, and a 2C is a half-hour discharge."
    29 Jul 2011, 12:15 AM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2728) | Send Message
     
    John, my thoughts are that one or more car companies already have an N dimensional map of C for the PbC. Lots of states of charge and lots of temperatures and lots of...............

     

    So if any of them are considering it for a mild hybrid, the numbers would have to be good. I suppose I will just have to wait for the details. Sigh.
    29 Jul 2011, 01:38 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Don't forget that the C-rates also vary depending on whether you're talking charge or discharge regimes. The real problem with lead-acid is that it has a high C discharge with a very low C recharge (±0.1C). The PbC, in comparison, can take very high C recharge rates which is the reason it performs well in stop-start cycling. A 100 Amp charging current like they used for the BMW testing is heavy charging. Since that charge rate was limited by the capacity of the test rack, we don't know what the real upper limits are. I'd bet the technical team has a good idea, but they're not sharing it yet.

     

    Since an ultra-high C recharge rate is critical for recuperative braking and the PbC is apparently stout enough for recuperative braking in rail applications, my guess is that a number in the 4C to 10C range is likely.
    29 Jul 2011, 01:51 AM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » The imported below link comes from Stock Charts. Note: Upon opening up Stock Chart, enter "AXPW" in the "symbol box. You can also change various forms of indicators to your wish or wants, such as Bollinger Bands, etc.

     

    stockcharts.com/h-sc/ui

     

    The 6 month chart shows that AXPW has been range bound since June 8, when Axion hit a low of 60 cents, and a high of 72 cents, achieved on July 5. This trading range is confirmed by the similarity of the lower Bollinger Band of 60 cents, and the upper Bollinger Band of 73 cents.

     

    The Simple Moving Average stands at 67 cents, and has been more or less trending sideways since the beginning of July.

     

    The 200 day moving average has been on a slow accent since mid-March. The 50 day moving average crossed over the 200 day moving average on July 13, a bearish indicator, called a "death cross."

     

    Relative Strength Index has been slowly rising since the June 8, at the 60 cent low, and now measures at 45.31. This indicator reads slightly bullish. In general terms, 30 is oversold, and 70 is overbought. Smack dab in the middle we are at today's close.

     

    One of my favorite indicators is William %R. This is an "inverse indicator," meaning that a maximum low score of negative 100 usually suggests the stock is way oversold, presenting a short term buying opportunity. A maximum high score is 0, is way over bought, indicating the stock, under normal circumstances should drop.

     

    QuoteMedia currently reads William %R at negative 70, and was negative 100 on July 22. This means that Axion is relatively oversold.

     

    The lower Bollinger Band at 60 cents is also the current level of resistance. If we look further back in time, back to February 3, we see the stock closed at 59 cents. Since, we've seen a dramatic rise, followed by a dramatic drop, forming a head and shoulders pattern, which is a bearish chart formation.

     

    As I intimated in an above comment, I don't believe Axion moves in rational relation with market swings, but rather, Axion moves with news cycles. Hence, I believe the head and shoulders being bearish does not apply with this stock.

     

    Looking also at QuoteMedia, a paid for charting service that I use, I see that volume has also dropped off from the day before the conference:

     

    July 19--641,043
    July 20--85,748
    July 21--218,071
    July 25--236,921
    July 26--211,846
    July 27--97,484

     

    Chalkin Money flow stands relatively neutral at 0.03, but appears recently, since July 8, to be ever so slightly drifting into more money flowing out, than in.

     

    MACD reads slightly negative at -0.02. Basically, this is another neutral reading.

     

    The True Range indicator also suggests AXPW is range bound with a very low reading of 0.03.

     

    So what does all this garbally goop mean? My best guess is that Axion will continue to drift southward and test the 59 to 60 cent lows recently seen.

     

    I'm still relatively new at charting, so please do not use my amateur skills to affect your investing decisions. I did, however, take down my 90 day GTC order from $0.62 to $0.60. We may even go lower than that, depending on how many shares Quercus Trust decides to liquidate.

     

    Most of this information is extreemly short term. As John Petersen points out, volume of Axion over the past year plus has risen dramatically, and I believe this is positive news for long term holders of Axion Power.

     

    I haven't check on Axion's Beta lately, but am guessing it's also pretty low, which if true, would suggest we're range bound until the next news cycle develops.

     

    Very much looking forward to the day when I can bring more positive news, charting-wise, than the range bound mix of indicators that seem to be pervasive this past month plus.
    27 Jul 2011, 10:26 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19441) | Send Message
     
    (AXPW): Beta currently shows @ 1.2 - nice and low.

     

    Don't overlook trend lines and patterns. It's been in a descending wedge for several weeks (since 7/5 top and 7/11 low).

     

    Bulkowski says break is up 68% of the time. I would be hesitant to use the word "break" for what I expect to see though.

     

    The support line of that wedge was penetrated 7/25 and rebounded to close at the high of the day $0.65, quite a bullish sign, relatively speaking.

     

    Since then (only two days though!), the lows have risen, diverging from that falling support, and the highs have been dropping. This is making a short-term symmetrical triangle, a consolidation pattern that normally indicates continuation of the trend leading into it.

     

    Since the trend has been definitely sideways, I really expect that to resume - no big down and a little up, initially.

     

    *If* we have a step down (still a 32% chance), I expect $0.60 to hold at the closes. We have strong demonstrated support there. Of course, an intra-day overshoot is very common, so a $0.59 or so would certainly not be a surprise.

     

    I *suspect* we go to >=$0.66 first though, maybe $0.67 (20 day SMA $0.666 yesterday and falling) as we complete another oscillation between the converging support and resistance lines.

     

    I know it seems rather silly contesting fractional pennies moves, but what else is there to do for "fun" while we wait? |:-\

     

    There's lots of other trend lines and price points in play, of course, but they are not on the short-range doppler radar ATM.

     

    MHO,
    HardToLove
    28 Jul 2011, 06:31 AM Reply Like
  • magounsq
    , contributor
    Comments (957) | Send Message
     
    Mayascribe

     

    I'm not a chartist but I understand the value...though I question the traditional chart analysis with AXPW given the stage of the company.

     

    John's supply/demand theory appears to most apropos.

     

    Add on other variables...investment cycles...US Debt issue (politics...always a wild card)...investors (i.e.Quercus, PP) and many other investors raising cash...insert disruptive technology...and more so, hard to understand technology, an open question is how much the "average" investor actually grasps the AXPW theme...

     

    Just a non chartist but hopefully "big picture", non techie view of value...
    28 Jul 2011, 11:13 AM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » magounsq: I completely agree. When I decided to write this blog, I wanted to create it in a way that was free from charts and analytics. I wanted to pass along the current Axion story, because the story is what I'm buying, what many of us are buying, and why my portfolio and seemingly others commenting here, are overweight with Axion.

     

    This is not a short story, but rather a saga with many subplots, intriguing conflict and promising characters. The villians in this developing story are our political leaders and the banksters; they control the macro picture of how the market will behave going forward.

     

    I believe technical analysis is also important, because several here, and likely more ghost readers, are trying to figure out which way the stock is heading; how best to time either adding or establishing a new position.

     

    I believe what we have learned together is that Axion is going to trend sideways; no big spikes, and hopefully no painful dips, until we arrive at the next news cycle, which seems more likely to be generated by the railroad industry, than the automotive industry.

     

    At least that's the consensus I'm feeling here in this blog, as well as via some "behind the curtain" emails.

     

    You're right, the "big picture" is what this blog is all about.
    28 Jul 2011, 11:44 AM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Forgive me, but I should have qualified the above by writing something akin to...if the Washington theatrics stall or wipe out the DOE announcement.

     

    Obviously, if the DOE announcement does come to fruition, it will be the auto industry that becomes the next news cycle, of which I for one am crossing my fingers and toes happens by August 15.

     

    Much bigger news than NS adding another locomotive or two for testing purposes.
    29 Jul 2011, 11:11 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6282) | Send Message
     
    The automotive OEMs just agreed to a big increase on fuel economy requirements without kicking and screaming...
    29 Jul 2011, 11:27 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    And a brand new report from BCG identifies stop-start as one of the least expensive fuel efficiency technologies out there:

     

    www.bcg.com/documents/...
    29 Jul 2011, 12:49 PM Reply Like
  • magounsq
    , contributor
    Comments (957) | Send Message
     
    geez...I was referring to the "macro" political affect on investing...I missed to "micro" affect...i.e if DOE announcement wiped out...
    BMW, NS and "other" should help, but I doubt in short term re stock price.

     

    One would think "logic" might come into play here...i.e a DOE/country energy conservation theme...BUT...logic......
    politics???
    A good friend of mine works as an economist for the federal government...amazing all the wasted man hours preparing for a shut down...

     

    ...and so it goes...
    29 Jul 2011, 04:13 PM Reply Like
  • D. McHattie
    , contributor
    Comments (1844) | Send Message
     
    I've been thinking about something for awhile and this seems as good a place as any to verbalize it.

     

    It is this: while we have been obsessing over the DOE grant lately, it is actually only meaningful in the short term and has practically no bearing on the ultimate success or failure of Axion.

     

    The grant is only a few $M - this is chump change for a major automaker. So if the automaker is interested in developing a PbC-based hybrid, getting a DOE grant is not going to be the deciding factor.

     

    I'm sure they didn't go to all this trouble just to get a few measly million from the government. They went to all this trouble because they are very interested in the PbC as a low-cost means of improving the fuel efficiency of their vehicles.

     

    Sure, AXPW is likely to pop 25-50% at the announcement of the grant. But even without the grant, the fact is that there is a major automaker that is not BMW that is very very interested in the PbC.

     

    And even this information is only significant if and when the automaker puts the PbC into their production vehicles.

     

    I just think it's worth taking a step back every once in awhile to look at the big picture, at the fundamental reason that most of use bought this company.

     

    The future keeps getting brighter for Axion, with or without the DOE grant.

     

    Disclosure: long AXPW
    31 Jul 2011, 09:08 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    I agree that the money is insignificant. In March Mr. Granville said they'd been working with the OEM for over a year and with or without the grant the relationship would go forward. Therefore the primary value from my perspective is getting Axion's name in front of people who don't know the company exists.

     

    Those of us who've been around for a while are so tired of muddling through a tough market that we don't recognize how extraordinary the NS and BMW relationships are. Companies that size almost never publicly align themselves with smaller companies that haven't even introduced a commercial product. Adding a third monster name behind a development stage technology will leave a whole lot of people scratching their heads and starting their diligence.

     

    I don't necessarily believe that an OEM design win will be needed to lift the price to the next level. My hope is that another quarter or two of ramping sales and demonstration projects will do that for us.
    31 Jul 2011, 09:28 AM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4819) | Send Message
     
    >Mayascribe ... I think your right. The chart of AXPW says absolutely nothing. The only "tell" I get from the chart is that selling volume out paces buying by a wide margin. The price being range bound like it is says to me the buyers aren't trying to scalp pennies but are holding. Until Quercus or whoever else that holds large share counts quits selling there is no reason for the stock to move. I don't expect NEWS to do anything but "pop" it and the rush will bring it back down ... hard ... but hopefully a little higher lows.
    27 Jul 2011, 11:05 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » DRich: It's sort of a like a X-Files time zone of purgatory hope. I'm under the conviction that this stock will try to buck you off, either through volatility, or "lazy performance," and then when your laying in the dirt, it'll run off over the horizon so fast you'll be left smelling hoof dust. Well...not you.

     

    I'm hoping Axion is like a child, where the parent measures how tall the child is growing over the years, measuring each shoulder, head, and other shoulder, as the child grows.

     

    And each head and shoulders as time wanes holds more height than the last.
    28 Jul 2011, 01:01 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    I know precious little about charting and have to bow to my betters on those issues, but I tend to agree that until Quercus or whoever else quits selling there is no reason for the stock to move. Since Quercus has had a pretty light hand, I tend to believe that "whoever else" is a more important factor.

     

    Since the resale registration for the 2009 Private Placement went effective, a total of 64.9 million shares have traded. While I'm sure there's been some in and out trading among street holders, I'd give long odds that the bulk of the selling has come from the PP investors who aren't up much, but are still up at today's price. With the way the range has tightened recently, it looks like the number of PP investors who want to sell has fallen way off. Also, the 20-day average volume is less than half of its late April highs. Overall, I think we're getting close to the bottom of the willing sellers barrel.

     

    I've been through the drill several times where price underperforms everybody's expectations until the excess supply is absorbed, and then turns in a matter of days. It's one of those situations where I can't predict when the inflection point will arrive, but I can tell you exactly what will happen when it does. Suffice it to say the genius honors will go to the guy who filled his last buy order on the day before the inflection point.
    28 Jul 2011, 01:27 AM Reply Like
  • bazooooka
    , contributor
    Comments (3684) | Send Message
     
    John,

     

    Do you expect that the "inflection point" will be a news release of a major order or will something smaller like line certification and/or oem partnership/testing confirmation get things rolling?

     

    Also based on your experience, will price discovery by the big boys occur before the news event, i.e. will see the uptick and then find out later the reason. I'd think there has to be some hedgies (maybe here from SA) digging in with their DD by now.

     

    At this point it seems like the pps decline can only be arrested by institutional money flow into this stock (maybe that's what took us to 1.20 awhile back). It seems the retail crowd here on SA can do little to lift the tide even if the OEM partner name came out tomorrow.

     

    thx
    28 Jul 2011, 02:22 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    The inflection points I've seen in the past were never tied to specific events so I've only been able to identify them in hindsight. They just happen for no apparent reason. I thought we'd reached an inflection point in early February when the stock price started to run but that got squashed in late March when the 2009 purchasers had a double and a whole new round of selling kicked in.

     

    A fascinating long-term view is available at stockcharts.com if you choose the 3-year range and add the Accum/Dist indicator. This last round of selling has been far more violent than the May 2009 sell off but there have been plenty of buyers so the price hasn't suffered as much. Since these things always boil down to supply-demand dynamics and nobody has unlimited supply, I don't see how the A/D dynamic can continue at current levels much longer.

     

    Institutions are funny things because they don't generally pay much attention to the OTCBB. That being said I've been getting a lot of calls lately from people who are clearly doing their homework. From here it looks like volume will be the primary driver and both the short and long term averages seem to be on an uptrend.

     

    The big reason I've been hopeful for something out of the DOE is that an announcement will attract the attention of people who've never heard my name or Axion's. Then the question in everybody's mind will be "What makes this nothing of a bulletin board company important enough that Detroit took second billing on the marquee?" When they start digging and find names like NS and BMW lurking in the background, interest should surge. When they start digging a bit deeper, they won't be able to avoid three years of collected work and third party resource links from yours truly.

     

    I've never seen a stock consolidate so long and hard at a base level. Since I don't believe the buyers are particularly interested in trading out for small gains, the run should be pretty when it comes. In the meantime we wait. This is one of those times when I feel a lot like a vulture saying "Patience my ass, I want to kill something!" Mercifully I know that I lack the tools to do any killing and just have to wait.
    28 Jul 2011, 03:00 AM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » DRich: With a combined 11,750,478 shares owned between Quercus and Gelbaum as of July 22, we potentially still have a lot of "churning" to endure if Quercus and Gelbaum continue to sell.

     

    A worse case scenario is that they do continue to sell off all shares owned. In June, I calculated that between both parties, 526,521 shares were liquidated.

     

    Divided this "example month" into combined shares still owned and we have a little more than 22 months (22.313) of remaining liquidation at the June pace.

     

    Of interesting note, though, is that both parties have dramatically slowed the pace of selling so far this month to a combined 151,30 shares liquidated through July 22.

     

    I forget how many shares Quercus and Gelbaum once owned in total. It would be an interesting fact to know, if for instance they decided to trim their positions by half, taking X loss, and then hold the rest, with the idea that Axion would eventually triple (or more) and they would then be in the black, even though they did halve their holdings. I believe John P. stated their average share price is $1.25. I'm not sure how much Quercus and Gelbaum bought during the private offering at $0.57.

     

    Of course, this is all just a speculative exercise. But I like to know the worse case scenario, and also speculate about other potential what ifs, too.

     

    I still believe, after listening to David Anthony at the conference, Quercus and Gelbaum will not be flat lining their Axion holdings.

     

    Note: Calculations taken from the below link:

     

    finance.yahoo.com/q/it...
    29 Jul 2011, 12:17 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Quercus paid $18 million to buy 8,571,429 shares of common stock and 10 million warrants. If you allocate the entire purchase price to the common, they paid $2.10 per share. The warrants were originally exercisable at $2.65, but that got reset to $.75 after the crash.

     

    www.sec.gov/Archives/e...

     

    Quercus and Gelbaum both report the same shares because the regulations treat Gelbaum as the beneficial owner of all shares held by Quercus. Their combined ownership was 5,845,079 common shares and 10 million warrants at July 22nd.

     

    Sales to date were 1.1 million in March, 319K in April, 457K in May, 526K in June and 151K so far in July. On average the sales have represented 10.9% of reported trading volume on the days they sold.
    29 Jul 2011, 01:04 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4819) | Send Message
     
    >Mayascribe ... I did this calculation on where Quercus & co. could theoretically level out back in Dec-2010. Now I cant' find the actual number (I'm not that organized) so I'm going to tell you the conclusions I carry forward off-the-top-of-my-head.

     

    My basic assumption (1) is that Axion will be "outa the park home-run" and that Quercus will cut 10 of its 40 Alt. En. hodings while holding another 10 at flat and buying lower into 10 others. Leaving 5 winners & 5 stellar. Who knows. I do these things to pass the time. With this in mind I figure the Trust will sell down to about the 8M share level. I really wish I could find those numbers.

     

    This would bring them about even in the $1.80-2.25 level on the overall portfolio (assumption (2): all holding grow together +/- 5%). That would be ahead on Axion and near even on the bottom 30. Cut the bottom 15 holdings here. By the time Axion regains an average share price (~$4.00) the portfolio would be ahead by 20%. When Axion regains IPO $6.40) the portfolio would be up 100-150% or better.

     

    My time line for this, considering the macro economy doesn't get worse, is Axion @ $4.00 by 2013 and regaining IPO in 2014. So I'm looking for Quercus to level off @ ~8M and the other large "private placement" share holders to be exhausted by March of 2012. Just in time for the rails to come storming in with a demand order for 100k-500k batteries ... NOW !!! Autos ... sometime in 2013.

     

    What fun fantasy can be, but it is the roadmap I'm using. Chart that for a head & shoulder pattern.
    29 Jul 2011, 01:23 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Thank you for the clarification, John. For the longest time I had wondered why both were listed individually. I need a little more Sherlock Holmes schooling.

     

    So if I have this correctly, it then appears that Quercus is liquidating their common shares, only to use the warrants to pick up shares on the cheap after Axion surges well above $0.75. And have until 2013 to exercise said warrants. Intriguing timing, because it is 2013 when I expect Axion's chart to look like a hockey stick.

     

    To rework the worst case scenario, of Quercus liquidating all their shares (which, by the way, is in all likelihood useless to do), at the current pace of 1,101,302 over four months, for an average of 275,325.5 shares per month, divided into 5,845,079 total shares held, we would still have to endure a little more than 21 months (21.229) of liquidation. Which (in theory) would then be completed by around April, 2013.

     

    ####

     

    I started reading the extensive report you linked, which looks fantastic, but because of its length, decided to park that right behind my usual Sunday John Mauldin reading, which should be a doozie of an article with the craziness going on in DC today.
    29 Jul 2011, 02:10 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » DRich: Apologies for the misleading numbers. Thanks to John, now we can at least pass the time with more accurate musings!

     

    I do agree with your, "...if the economy doesn't get worse," idea of Axion at $4.00 by 2013.

     

    There has to be some mathematical formula Quercus is using to recoup their loses, only their formula applies to 30 or 40 concerns and not just Axion.

     

    29 Jul 2011, 02:18 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Somebody pointed me to a block trade that Quercus did in one of its other companies a few days ago. Since the deal apparently raised about $1.5 million in cash, Quercus may be able to slow the pace of its liquidations. There haven't been any reports this week so while it's too early to tell, I remain hopeful.

     

    The last time I checked, the TTM volume in Axion's stock is about 60 million shares. So if we assume Quercuse will sell it all and account for about 10% of reported volume, then next summer would be a likely gone by date.
    29 Jul 2011, 03:03 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4819) | Send Message
     
    >Mayascribe ... It's this baby into toddler stage that drives me crazy. The kid just wobbles around getting into everything. First time the hands are free to grab anything is sight and speech is slowly becoming coherent.. Still waiting for a little focus to the grasping and more complete language skill to develop. I like my kids better the older they get.
    28 Jul 2011, 01:32 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    In late 2008 I wrote: "Every adult knows that infants learn to crawl first, then they learn to stand, then they learn to walk and then they learn to run: and once they start running the game changes forever."
    28 Jul 2011, 02:19 AM Reply Like
  • bazooooka
    , contributor
    Comments (3684) | Send Message
     
    John, do you know anything about EFOI. It seems that Gelbaum was able to liquidate the majority of his position last month. Contrasting that to the gentle selling he does in Axion, it appears that despite his liquidity needs, he must like Axion's prospects.

     

    The cynic in me is wondering if a bottom has been put in EFOI as well =)

     

    finance.yahoo.com/news...
    28 Jul 2011, 05:27 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    I don't know anything about EFOI, but it seems that they were able to put together a small group of investors to buy most of the Quercus position and lock up the rest. In my experience that's a feat in and of itself because private placement types generally want to see their money go to build a business instead of take out a suffering holder. It may well be worth some digging to see if the business impresses you. Since the stock is currently trading at close to book and revenues seem to be ramping nicely, it may be a hidden gem. I'll be curious to hear your thoughts as you learn more.
    28 Jul 2011, 06:56 AM Reply Like
  • bangwhiz
    , contributor
    Comments (2240) | Send Message
     
    I agree with DRich that chart analysis is of little benefit with Axion, but it at least offers entertainment while we wait for better days. I think only positive news will move the stock - and the most positive news is sales. While DRich has never felt the DOE award was a strong possibility I think it is still highly likely. The 2011 budget was signed, sealed and done with. I have never seen a government agency not spend its total budget.

     

    I interpreted the delay to August 15 as a stall until the debt ceiling is resolved. You can't award contracts if there is no money. My position is to hold until doomsday as I am all in on Axion. If I had to look at near term sales prospects NS is the kingpin. Nothing I have read leads me to believe any differently. Then there's JP's hope for a BMW order in 2011.

     

    I think Axion's year will be 2013 with positive stock movement in 2012. I am glad they are working on the new higher energy battery design Mayascribe learned. I have always felt the climb upward would be relatively slow and bloody followed by it running like a scalded rabbit. The trick is to not get to excited one way or another until the big run is occurring, as opposed to moronic posts like omyomy on Yahoo.

     

    Cheers to all of the high quality posters on SA that bring insightful analysis of Axion. Someday we can all have a big party and crack some champagne bottles together. Until then we're stuck with near beer and wonderful dreams.

     

    .
    28 Jul 2011, 01:13 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19441) | Send Message
     
    (AXPW): Let's find out if the daily reported short sales stuff I've been working has any indicative value. Keep in mind these are likely not "real" short sales, but an effect of necessary mechanical actions by market makers receive a sell order for shares not yet under their control (they reside at a brokerage firm usually). There will be *some* short in there, I'm sure, but over time as I have attempted to learn how things work I've concluded that what's reported as "real" short sales are vastly exaggerated at any specific point in time.

     

    Anyway, check the reduced selling percentage *indicated* by the last couple of days.

     

    This suggests to me that price may see at least a small rise for a little while.

     

    I've not tested this theory yet, so it's just an experiment ATM.

     

    I'll post an update for today's action Mon.

     

    HardToLove

     

    0701 TotVol 000240497, Sht 00105848, w/o Ex 00105848, Sht 44.01%, w/o Ex 44.01%
    0705 TotVol 000352899, Sht 00186799, w/o Ex 00186799, Sht 52.93%, w/o Ex 52.93%
    0706 TotVol 000039970, Sht 00009100, w/o Ex 00009100, Sht 22.77%, w/o Ex 22.77%
    0707 TotVol 000293740, Sht 00111975, w/o Ex 00111975, Sht 38.12%, w/o Ex 38.12%
    0708 TotVol 000081720, Sht 00041420, w/o Ex 00041420, Sht 50.69%, w/o Ex 50.69%
    0711 TotVol 000309681, Sht 00060506, w/o Ex 00060506, Sht 19.54%, w/o Ex 19.54%
    0712 TotVol 000083833, Sht 00033103, w/o Ex 00033103, Sht 39.49%, w/o Ex 39.49%
    0713 TotVol 000127160, Sht 00057260, w/o Ex 00057260, Sht 45.03%, w/o Ex 45.03%
    0714 TotVol 000103114, Sht 00033558, w/o Ex 00033558, Sht 32.54%, w/o Ex 32.54%
    0715 TotVol 000101348, Sht 00055838, w/o Ex 00055838, Sht 55.10%, w/o Ex 55.10%
    0718 TotVol 000175750, Sht 00079075, w/o Ex 00079075, Sht 44.99%, w/o Ex 44.99%
    0719 TotVol 000641043, Sht 00152943, w/o Ex 00152943, Sht 23.86%, w/o Ex 23.86%
    0720 TotVol 000079748, Sht 00044718, w/o Ex 00044718, Sht 56.07%, w/o Ex 56.07%
    0721 TotVol 000193071, Sht 00123119, w/o Ex 00123119, Sht 63.77%, w/o Ex 63.77%
    0722 TotVol 000311900, Sht 00174655, w/o Ex 00174655, Sht 56.00%, w/o Ex 56.00%
    0725 TotVol 000236921, Sht 00070160, w/o Ex 00070160, Sht 29.61%, w/o Ex 29.61%
    0726 TotVol 000207646, Sht 00158727, w/o Ex 00158727, Sht 76.44%, w/o Ex 76.44%
    0727 TotVol 000097259, Sht 00025325, w/o Ex 00025325, Sht 26.04%, w/o Ex 26.04%
    0728 TotVol 000080150, Sht 00009391, w/o Ex 00009391, Sht 11.72%, w/o Ex 11.72%
    29 Jul 2011, 12:20 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19441) | Send Message
     
    BTW, yesterday we did have higher lows and highs.

     

    HardToLove
    29 Jul 2011, 12:37 PM Reply Like
  • bangwhiz
    , contributor
    Comments (2240) | Send Message
     
    Because the commentary in this thread is so much better than troll laden other threads I wondered who voted 5,909,549 against Dr. Howard K. Schmidt? That number closely corresponds to Quercus's shares, but there may be other stockholders with about the same position, and quite a few who could team up against his directorship.

     

    His background from Axion's site follows. Dr. Howard K. Schmidt is an independent director who joined our board in April 2005. Dr. Schmidt is also presently employed as the executive director of the Carbon Nanotechnologies Laboratory (the "CNL") at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Dr. Schmidt is an expert in the field of carbon nanotechnology and single-wall carbon nanotubes. In 1989, Dr. Schmidt founded SI Diamond Technologies, Inc., a company that received the prestigious R&D 100 Award from Research and Development Magazine in 1989; went public in 1992; and recently changed its name to Nano-Proprietary, Inc. Dr. Schmidt holds two degrees from Rice University (BS-Electrical Engineering, 1980 and PhD-Chemistry, 1986).

     

    I have no information to tell me Axion is to focused on playing with the technology versus running and growing the business. If that were the case tossing a techie off the board and replacing them with a more business oriented individual would be an indication.

     

    I am hoping JP or anyone else who has real information about the possible reasons for the no vote might comment. I've already speculated somebody wanted a director with a different point of view, most likely more business-oriented.

     

    Comments? I have always been concerned by the lack of a sales and marketing organization on the org chart. In fact, Tom G. stated that one use for the new capital raise was to create a "modest" sales and marketing force. I understand that if you don't have a product to sell you don't need a salesman. However, having no senior sales manager at a management level tells me you aren't even thinking about sales. Couldn't someone have gotten some AGM or flooded battery orders, or small PbC battery orders the past one and one half years - or some demo orders?

     

    Futurist got me thinking about this because there were no significant sales in 2010. Lot's of reasons were proposed as to why sales did not occur.

     

    A good sales manager sells whatever crap the company has to offer. Certainly Axion had decent flooded and AGM batteries. Even if the GenI line couldn't produce a quality product in quantity, they could have hand made for a few demo orders.

     

    It would have been nice if they had a two track approach to the business versus all technical development. Some nice prospects came in over the transom, but they were all elephants. A focused sales effort might have produced as few rabbit sized orders with elephant potential that would have moved the business along faster.
    29 Jul 2011, 02:32 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    What Dr. Schmidt's bio doesn't say is that I'm the lawyer who did the 1992 IPO for SI Diamond Technology, which was to the best of my knowledge the very first pure play carbon nanotechnology IPO. He was also the technical expert I turned to in 2003 when I was trying to decide whether I wanted to get involved in the original transaction between my shell and their company.

     

    Howard has been deeply involved in the development of the PbC technology from a very early stage and is a critically important BS detector for the board. People vote against directors for any number of reasons, but I'm delighted to have Howard around to finish the job.

     

    I understand that the salesman in you loves sales. When a small company has a limited staff that can devote its attention to developing the bread and butter technology or making products for window dressing sales, the best decision is frequently to forget about the window dressing and focus on job one. The fact that Axion is now building a sales force tells me that job one - making a product - is almost done and now its time to focus on selling it.

     

    We bought the lead-acid battery plant because we wanted the technical staff to have a working factory to use as a prototyping facility. Lead-acid battery sales were only important to the point that they defrayed part of the costs, kept a skeleton manufacturing staff employed and produced enough product to keep the lines running. Everything beyond that would have taken attention away from the PbC and delayed the development process. It would have been penny wise and pound foolish.
    29 Jul 2011, 03:14 PM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2728) | Send Message
     
    Remember that the big advance of the PbC cell is the carbon electrode. The activated carbon used IS a nanotechnology product. But its a natural one.
    Once Axion has a decent cash flow I would expect a small group of geeky types to work towards optimizing the cost and performance of the electrode and carbon material. If some way can be found to manufacture the material to net size and shape it could be a production efficiency boon.

     

    That is the best reason I can think of to have a carbon nano-tech expert on the board. As John put it, a BS detector director.

     

    Sorry, sometimes it just overcomes me ;-)
    29 Jul 2011, 03:49 PM Reply Like
  • bangwhiz
    , contributor
    Comments (2240) | Send Message
     
    Thanks John. I wondered who voted a significant number of shares against Dr. Schmidt and I wasn't questioning his credentials or contribution - I just wonder what the heartburn was against him by somebody.

     

    As for the "don't do anything but work on the PbC IE issues" that assumes you can't walk and chew gum at the same time IMHO. It wasn't a case of wanting "window dressing" sales. Do you believe the flooded battery order this year is bad for Axion? Were the past flooded battery orders bad for Axion? How much management attention do they require?

     

    I understand your view John, and perhaps you are 100% correct. I just question if more couldn't have been accomplished if someone was focused on developing sales opportunities, for either the short or long-term, over the past 18 months.
    29 Jul 2011, 06:11 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    The flooded battery order is a tolling contract that puts the plant to work and train a new generation of plant workers without requiring significant cash outlays for inventories or a whole lot of purchasing, distribution and ancillary resources. The 2008 contract would have done the same thing, but that pesky market crash and recession got in the way. It's all leading up to the big show - the roll out of the PbC. To my way of thinking building customer demand for conventional lead acid products that you don't want to build or sell over the long term is a distraction. In any event, history is prologue and the key is that they are building a sales team now.
    30 Jul 2011, 12:17 AM Reply Like
  • steeleydock
    , contributor
    Comments (33) | Send Message
     
    Re: EFOI
    Here's a strange little bit of info:
    finance.yahoo.com/news...
    S
    29 Jul 2011, 07:27 PM Reply Like
  • bangwhiz
    , contributor
    Comments (2240) | Send Message
     
    It is nice that you and I can discuss a difference of opinion in a pleasant manner, and I have acknowledged that you may be 100% correct. Sales develop from relationships with potential customers. That takes time. You also need a lot of prospects in the top of the funnel for a reasonable number to make it to the bottom of the funnel.

     

    It's just my view that someone could have been doing that job exclusively over a long period of time, even without bringing in immediate business - just building prospects with strong future business potential. As some people remark after making an opposing statement, "I'm just saying". ;-).

     

    Example, salesman bumps into person at a conference from Union Pacific and asks engineer " What are your thoughts on locomotive retrofits." It begins a dialog only - but over time it could mature into more. The sales person has to know how to develop the relationship over a long period of time with out seeking an immediate or near-term order. Just an example.
    29 Jul 2011, 10:46 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Okay fine folks, this Instablog has deep cycled far enough. Please follow this link to the next Axion "Concentrator," where we continue to share, learn and ruminate all things Axion, and more. Be sure to check the Follow Comments box in the next Concentrator, so that your Seeking Alpha tracking feature will be notified of all new comments:

     

    seekingalpha.com/insta...
    31 Jul 2011, 11:10 AM Reply Like
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